Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bird crime

Informed today about the destruction of 2 Goshawks and one Tawny Owl within the NYM National Park. If it is a gamekeeper who destroyed these birds it is worth pointing out to them that these two species almost certainly help them more than hinder. Goshawk prefers to prey on Woodpigeon and corvids. Carrion Crow will be a significant predator of grouse chicks, Goshawk may very occasionally take an adult I would guess. Keepers are in net gain to leave Goshawk alone, the predation of Carrion Crow being a big bonus. Tawny Owl will kill ground predators, like rats which do serious damage to grouse nests when they find them. These crimes are about prejudice and ignorance of the biology of the species concerned.

3 comments:

Nick Carter said...

Couldn't agree more but I'm afraid in my experience common sense and logic rarely seem to take precedence over blind prejudice.

Alastair said...

What is encouraging is that more wildlife crime is being reported by the shooting fraternity itself. Some shooters are realising that shooting is in danger of restrictive legislation if it is perceived by the public as functioning outside the law. I believe we are going through an especially bad period but if the view above prevails the bad apples may well get sorted into the compost. Shooting needs to clean up its act or it is vulnerable to the sort of treatment that the animal rights lobby applied to fox hunting. The killing of species that are actually helpful to keepers will be the sort of behaviour that will be unpopular with the more responsible shooters (the majority).

Nick Carter said...

Interesting article on Birdguides at http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=1441
backing up your arguement that there are gamekeepers with a sense of responsibility.