News : Mar 2012

2011 bird poisoning figures published

14 March 2012

The Scottish government has released the 2011 bird poisoning figures which show a marked drop on previous years. Ten incidents involving 16 dead birds of prey were reported in 2011, compared with 22 incidents reported in 2010 involving 28 poisoned birds. An article in The Guardian discusses long-term persecution rates and puts the 2011 figures into context:

Breeding success for Orkney harriers

13 March 2012

Conservationists are hailing the breeding success of hen harriers on Orkney as the population has reached a 20-year high: a remarkable recovery for a species in grave danger elesewhere in the UK.

SNH survey on management of Scotland’s wildlife

5 March 2012

From the BBC website: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has commissioned Edinburgh consultants Why Research to run an online questionnaire from 5-19 March. Findings from focus groups held at the same time will help test the success of SNH’s merger with the Deer Commission in 2010. Research published last year suggested that SNH managed wildlife in the best interests of Scotland’s people. However, respondents also flagged up concerns for species such as red squirrels. During that survey many people supported the reintroduction of species. Wildlife brought back to Scotland have included red kites, white-tailed sea eagles and beavers. However, 59 respondents who disagreed with reintroductions believed the programmes interfered with nature, or said money should not be spent on them in the current financial climate. Earlier this month, SNH was criticised by fisherman on Barra over plans for a Special Area of Conservation to protect marine life in the Sound of Barra. The fishermen have said the designation would restrict access to fisheries. Scotland’s Moorland Forum and Mountaineering Council of Scotland has highlighted the forthcoming survey to its members. SNH said the questionnaire was primarily aimed at individuals and organisations with a direct interest or involvement in wildlife management activities.This could include gamekeepers, farmers, stalkers and recreational shooters. A spokesman said: “Wildlife management in Scotland is hugely topical. We now have many and increased responsibilities in relation to it, including new roles on deer and licensing, providing information on best practice, invasive non-native animals and species introductions. It’s important that we provide a service that best meets the needs of our customers.” He added: “As well as a survey it will involve a series of focus groups amongst members of these bodies. The findings will also help us test and report to the Scottish Parliament on how successful our merger with the Deer Commission for Scotland in 2010 is judged to have been.” The online survey is available here: