News : Jul 2013

Shot buzzard being treated at rescue centre in North Ayrshire

30 July 2013

An injured buzzard that had suffered a gunshot wound has been rescued and is now being treated at the Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Centre near Beith, North Ayrshire. A pellet had ripped into the bird’s crop (a food storage pouch in the throat). Staff at the centre are hopeful the bird will make a full recovery. 

Scottish Raptor Study Group helps highlight hen harrier persecution

22 July 2013

The Scottish Raptor Study Group has helped to highlight the serious problem of hen harrier persecution on driven grouse moors. At a secret location in Perthshire, BBC Scotland filmed Tayside Raptor Study Group member Wendy Mattingley as she monitored an active hen harrier nest and discussed the impact of illegal killing on this specially-protected species. Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse was also interviewed about the declining hen harrier population and the transcript can be read here. The Scottish Raptor Study Group strongly disagrees with the Minister’s statement that ‘one or two’ estates may be involved in the killing of these birds; there is ample long-term scientific evidence to demonstrate that the problem is far more widespread, particularly in the Eastern Highlands and Southern Uplands.

A Saga of Sea Eagles: new book by RSG member about the reintroduction of white-tailed eagles to Scotland

18 July 2013

A much-anticipated new book will be published this month, providing first-hand experience and anecdotes from the man who has been central to the reintroduction of white-tailed eagles in Scotland. Raptor Study Group member John Love was the Project Officer for the pioneering releases on the Isle of Rum from 1975-1985 and is a member of the UK Sea Eagle Project Team, advising on the later stages of the reintroduction. John authored the highly-acclaimed book ‘The Return of the Sea Eagle’ in 1983 (Cambridge University Press) and his latest book, ‘A Saga of Sea Eagles’ (Whittles Publishing) brings the story up to date. It will be published on 31st July 2013 and is available from the usual outlets. For further details, please visit the publisher’s webpage.

Scottish Raptor Study Group member receives MBE from the Queen

Congratulations to SRSG member and former police chief inspector Kevin Findlater, who has been awarded an MBE for services to the environment and the communities of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. Kevin joined the police force in 1984 after studying biology at Stirling University and he became one of the first wildlife crime officers in Scotland. He was instrumental in leading ‘Operation Ironworks’ which tackled antisocial behaviour across Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and helped to reduce crime rates and problems with littering. Kevin was an active member of Central Raptor Study Group and has now retired to Dumfriesshire, where he has recently joined the Dumfries & Galloway Raptor Study Group.

Red kite found poisoned in central Scotland

10 July 2013

A recently published government report has revealed that a poisoned red kite was found in central Scotland in March this year. It had been poisoned with Mevinphos, an acutely toxic banned poison, better known under the trade name Phosdrin. Understandably, Police Scotland have been criticised for not publicising this incident.

Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association makes lofty claims about their role in golden eagle conservation

8 July 2013

The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) claims that golden eagles are doing well on grouse moors in East and Central Scotland and say that there at least 55 active golden eagle nests on these keeper-managed moorlands. Critics have strongly disputed their claim that golden eagles are doing well in this region. We published a letter in the Scotsman to announce a forthcoming analysis of SRSG nest data to compare the figures with those claimed by the SGA. The results will be published on this website.

Tweed Valley osprey chicks ringed

2 July 2013

A group of schoolchildren were invited to watch three osprey chicks being ringed at a secret location in the Tweed Valley yesterday. There are now ten active osprey nests in the region, all monitored by Forestry Commission Conservation Manager and Raptor Study Group member Tony Lightley and his colleagues. Approximately 160 osprey chicks have been ringed since the Tweed Valley Osprey Project began in 1999.