News : Jun 2013

Another satellite-tracked golden eagle ‘disappears’ in Aberdeenshire

25 June 2013

A young golden eagle that had been fitted with a satellite transmitter to allow researchers to investigate its dispersal movements has ‘disappeared’ in an area of Aberdeenshire where other tracked eagles have also ‘disappeared’. The two year old eagle known as ‘Angus 33’ was being tracked by Highland Raptor Study Group member Roy Dennis, who has been satellite-tracking a variety of raptors over a number of years. Angus 33 is presumed to have been illegally killed.

Live footage from a golden eagle nest in Sutherland

A nest camera has been fitted at a golden eagle nest in Sutherland and is sending live images to the Assynt Visitor Centre in Lochinver, 13 miles away. The eagle’s nest is located on a community-owned estate and the camera project is being led by Highland Council countryside rangers, one of whom (Andy Summers) is also a member of the Highland Raptor Study Group. For further details please click here.

Red kite shot dead in Aberdeenshire

21 June 2013

The police and RSPB Scotland are appealing for information following the discovery of a dead red kite in woodland near Aboyne, Aberdeenshire in April. The bird was a three year-old female originating from Perthshire and she had successfully reared three chicks in Aberdeenshire in 2012. Her death adds to a long-running tally of illegally-killed red kites in Scotland since their reintroduction in 1989: at least 75 kites are known to have been poisoned and a further seven are known to have been victims of illegal shooting, trapping and nest destruction. The police have been criticised for their cryptic press release regarding this latest incident.

23,000 people say ‘no’ to a buzzard cull in Scotland

20 June 2013

A petition urging the Scottish Government not to introduce licences to cull buzzards has been handed in to the Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse at Holyrood today. The petition attracted a remarkable 23,000 signatures in a two-week period and was fully supported by the Scottish Raptor Study Group, RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club. It was launched by a member of the public following the recent issue of a licence in England allowing the legal destruction of buzzard nests and eggs in close proximity to a pheasant pen. The Scottish Raptor Study Group is firmly opposed to the control of native raptors for the benefit of non-native gamebirds which are reared and released in their millions each year for game-shooting.

Galloway gamekeeper fined for poisoning offences

18 June 2013

A gamekeeper in Galloway has been convicted of poisoning a buzzard and for the illegal possession of three poisons. Peter Bell (62) of Newton Stewart admitted lacing a pheasant carcass with the highly toxic pesticide Carbofuran on the Glasserton Estate last December. This resulted in the death of a buzzard that was poisoned after eating the bait. A later police search of Bell’s home in March 2013 uncovered stocks of Carbofuran and other poisons including Alphachloralose and Strychnine. He was fined £4,450 at Stranraer Sheriff Court. Bell was a member of the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) and the Glasserton Estate was a member of the landowners’ organisation Scottish Land and Estates (SL&E). The SGA state that Bell has now been ejected from the group. SL&E state that Glasserton Estate is no longer a member of their organisation.

Police investigate alleged destruction of a white-tailed eagle nest on Invermark Estate in the Cairngorms National Park

13 June 2013

The police are investigating the alleged destruction of a white-tailed eagle nest on a sporting estate in Angus. The nest was believed to be the first in East Scotland for over 100 years following the recent reintroduction of the species to the region. According to the RSPB, the nest tree was felled in January. The incident has shocked conservationists, including the Scottish Raptor Study Group, whose members have been closely involved with the project since its inception in 2007. Questions are once again being asked about why there hasn’t been any publicity in the five months since the nest tree was felled.

More poisoned baits found on Leadhills Estate, South Lanarkshire

10 June 2013

The Scottish Raptor Study Group is disgusted to learn that more poisoned baits have been discovered on the Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire. This estate has been at the centre of poisoning and other raptor persecution allegations for over a decade; the latest discovery was made on 8th March by a member of the public. Government scientists have confirmed the baits contained the banned poison Carbofuran. Once again this incident was not publicised by the police or PAW Scotland.