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Old Friday 4th November 2011, 13:15   #26
captaincarot
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Originally Posted by apbarr View Post
Sounds as though the Scottish Government's proposal to hold the landowner responsible is the correct way forward.
it is , which is exactly why our English Tory government insist we don't need it and refuse to even contemplate introducing the same measures here in England.


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Old Friday 4th November 2011, 13:20   #27
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Wonderful post Marcus, and just goes to show the difference between forming an opinion by actually getting to know people and how things really work and just forming one based on good old fahioned prejudice and no first hand experience.
of course you would have to be able to show that people had no first hand experience in order to make this uttely unsubstantiated and baseless claim in the first place wouldn't you adam.

any ammount of mealy mouthed excuses blaming pressure from estates has not however caused one gamekeeper to go and get a job doing something else. this is very simple step for anyone who didn't agree with persecuting raptors and refused to do it, therefore the only logical conclusion can be that gamekeepers persecute raptors because game keepers want to persecute raptors and the estates turn a blind eye to the methods because there are absolutely no incentives for them to do anything otherwise.
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Old Friday 4th November 2011, 13:57   #28
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I'm with Captain Carot on this, although maybe not so aggresively

When a football team loses, some people blame the manager, others the player, but everyone involved has to shoulder some blame.
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Old Friday 4th November 2011, 13:59   #29
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I'm with Captain Carot on this, although maybe not so aggresively

When a football team loses, some people blame the manager, others the player, but everyone involved has to shoulder some blame.
appologies if it seemed aggressive but that excuse makes my blood boil.
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Old Friday 4th November 2011, 22:14   #30
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any ammount of mealy mouthed excuses blaming pressure from estates has not however caused one gamekeeper to go and get a job doing something else. this is very simple step for anyone who didn't agree with persecuting raptors and refused to do it, therefore the only logical conclusion can be that gamekeepers persecute raptors because game keepers want to persecute raptors
Thats not a logical conclusion at all infact its a complete load of rubbish and how on earth would you possibly know that not a single gamekeeper has done just that?, Gamekeepers generally however dont just quit and find another career because suprisingly enough they became gamekeepers because they actually wanted to be gamekeepers the problem we have is that it would too often seem that the only way they can keep that job is by doing what the boss tells them.

I've happily said before(and no doubt you will have read it) that there can be no excuse for breaking the law and if i were in that situation i'd tell my boss what he can do with his job but then thats an easy choice for me because i dont have a wife and kids to support and i wont lose my house if i quit,if i was in that situation it may not be such an easy choice to make.

That said i dont actually think that anyone is suggesting this is an acceptable excuse its more just an explanation for what is happening and a pointer towards what might be the best way of solving this problem.
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Old Friday 4th November 2011, 22:24   #31
Marcus Conway - ebirder
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any ammount of mealy mouthed excuses blaming pressure from estates has not however caused one gamekeeper to go and get a job doing something else. this is very simple step for anyone who didn't agree with persecuting raptors and refused to do it, therefore the only logical conclusion can be that gamekeepers persecute raptors because game keepers want to persecute raptors and the estates turn a blind eye to the methods because there are absolutely no incentives for them to do anything otherwise.
The keeper on the Avlie estate has demonstrated that the Golden Ealges on his estate have minimal impact and in turn is supported by the land owner. In addition a range of Highland companies have now demonstrated that people want to photograph their (Alvie) Mountain Hares (as well as their RedDeer) and this has supported their alternative approach to land management where sheep are now used to control tick numbers as opposed to culling hare - this is now cheaper and beneficial to all. Most people aren't away that 20000 (twenty thousand!!) Mountain hares are culled - needlessly - each year.

A keeper on another estate removes all ravens and has tracked the increase in golden plover and dunlin on his land. Each year the numbers increase and they are nesting in new areas. This was following a research paper he had read into Ptarmigan and Grouse chick predation by Raven.

The keeper on the estate at Lochindorb treats all birds of prey as vermin and does seem to take pleasure out of killing them from articles I have read/seen. Scumbag of the worst kind.

The Coignafearn estate (end of Findhorn Valley) regularly preach to the other estates about managing the environment and illegal killing of raptors. Yet snare and trap a range of animals in disgusting ways (but legally). Still nothing to make your despair about mankind like a stoat with its legs ripped off in a trap.

Some gamekeepers are open to working in a more positive way, though the final instruction to them will come from the guy that pays their bills. Punish the land owner severely and you will get the change required, and quickly.

In terms of the football analogy. If you deduct points from the club for diving. The players would stop behaving in that way quickly. You give a player a red card and another will come off the bench and do the same thing. Anyway enough of the analogy!

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Old Friday 4th November 2011, 23:06   #32
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Marcus - thanks for your account - it only brings me to say what I always do, +predators = +prey and vice-versa.

If the perpetrators (vermin?) knew what was best for them they would leave all the native predators alone.

Yes, landowners should be held responsible!
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Old Saturday 5th November 2011, 11:57   #33
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Wonderful post Marcus, and just goes to show the difference between forming an opinion by actually getting to know people and how things really work and just forming one based on good old fahioned prejudice and no first hand experience.
Marcus is on the money Adam and I agree that through close alliance with landowners and gamekeepers alike can opinions be swayed and wildlife protected, even if it's an uphill struggle as it seems to be in some many of our uplands where greed and ignorance over-ride understanding and opportunity.

I think prejudice works two ways though Adam and lets not get into a debate about feeling sorry for lawbreakers just because they are under pressure to keep their jobs. Extend this theory to the small-time drug dealer or the low-life poacher killing Rhino in Africa. Yes, laws should enable us to take the wealthy villans at the root of the issue to the cleaners but the law breakers are still guilty are they not?

I have experiance of gamekeepers and my opinions are not based on prejudice but what I see and what I know. Many gamekeeprs are fantastic at their job but there are many that need a change in the law to force them to clean up their act. Taking up the sporting analogy merely to illustrate the point, if the Red cards incurred by a club resulted in hefty financial impact to both player and his club as well as impact to revenue and share price, then the player and Chief Exec has every incentive to tow the line. In upland Britain we don't have this situation and I look forward to see what the changes to the law in Scotland will bring.
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Old Saturday 5th November 2011, 22:26   #34
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Taking up the sporting analogy merely to illustrate the point, if the Red cards incurred by a club resulted in hefty financial impact to both player and his club as well as impact to revenue and share price, then the player and Chief Exec has every incentive to tow the line. .
Yup you got it
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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 10:13   #35
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It would be the ideal solution but given the people this would involve I can't see it happening. The Sandringham case for example.

Given the amount that gamekeepers receive in tips, isn't it in their financial interests to get rid of the raptors?
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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 10:24   #36
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Robin, believe it or not for once i think we totally agree. I was actually going to use the drug dealer analogy myself I couldnt agree more that the individuals breaking the law by taking drugs are in the wrong and should be punished but the general idea i think Marcus was getting at and I was agreeing with is that its pretty well accepted that the real route of the problem and main hope of solving the problem is the drug dealers which i think is pretty much what you are saying as well.
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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 10:32   #37
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Given the amount that gamekeepers receive in tips, isn't it in their financial interests to get rid of the raptors?
Yes it is in their financial interest to make sure there is stock to shot.Tips are a smaller part of it than having a job and home from the estate.

A few more points I could of made above

- I was told that the reason some raptors are removed from Grouse estates is more for the impact they can have during a shoot - scattering grouse that have been beaten into an area for shooting. If a raptor disperses the grouse at key moments the shoot totals will be less and the estate owner ends up looking like a chump in front of his guests. Thus it is not necessarily links to predation and protection during the breeding season - short eared owls don't really predate grouse but have an influence on moving grouse during autumn and winter.
- One Estate within the Cairngorms NP actually suffers from other people coming into their estate and putting down poisoned carcasses. They presume these are game keepers but have no idea other than knowing it is specifically targeted at their Eagles.

The issues are systemic and about the way in entire areas of the country are managed.
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Old Sunday 6th November 2011, 19:44   #38
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- One Estate within the Cairngorms NP actually suffers from other people coming into their estate and putting down poisoned carcasses. They presume these are game keepers but have no idea other than knowing it is specifically targeted at their Eagles.

.
If someone was doing that on my property I wouldn't rest till I nailed them!!

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Old Monday 7th November 2011, 12:15   #39
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Probably an ill-thought out idea but what if .........

Scientific research can show the mean population levels we should except between upper and lower levels, of a chosen predator in a chosen landscape.

If it is evident that in a specific area, let's stick with the Cairngorms NP for a moment, a specific species, say the Golden Eagle is absent or woefully below the agreed population thresholds, it becomes the collective landowners responsibility to do something about it otherwise face extreme financial penalties.

So instead of trying to nail evidence of crimes, we should place the accountability and obligation for a diverse ecosystem on those that own their environment and their incentive to do so should be made very obvious through legislation.

I know that politicians are often sluggish to change at best and hard-of-hearing when so often entrenched in the very social group who like to promote profiteering for wealthy estate landowners, but for me things seem to be getting worse right now and maybe it's time for conservation bodies to change their tact ?
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Old Monday 7th November 2011, 15:05   #40
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Interesting post today from Dr Mark Avery :- http://markavery.info/blog/
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Old Tuesday 8th November 2011, 12:42   #41
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Interesting post today from Dr Mark Avery :- http://markavery.info/blog/
I hadn't heard of this categorising of conservationists.

Presumably S stands for short term, as we lose the rest of our habitat to our own breeding habits and D stands for Deaf-ears as that is what you find with the second approach.

Not that I feel bitter or anything!
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Old Friday 11th November 2011, 01:15   #42
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I found this on another thread but thought it would interest the folk here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15561184
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