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RSPB has quit a "failed" project to protect birds of prey in the Peak District (1 Viewer)


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RSPB has quit a "failed" project to protect birds of prey in the Peak District

A report from the BBC. the ''failed'' bit is a quote from the headline on their website.

Bird conservation charity the RSPB has quit a "failed" project to protect birds of prey in a national park.

Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative began in 2011 to boost the numbers of birds - known as raptors - in the area.

But the charity said some species numbers had actually fallen and that illegal killing of such birds had not been tackled effectively.

The Moorland Association and the Peak District National Park Authority said they were disappointed at the move.

In 2016 conservationists released footage claiming to show an armed man with a decoy hen harrier

The initiative, which also includes the National Trust and Natural England, set five-year targets for healthy populations of three species - merlin, peregrine and short-eared owl - and later included hen harrier and goshawk.
But the RSPB said none of these had been met and some species were actually worse off.

In December it confirmed peregrine falcons had failed to breed in the Dark Peak area for the first time in more than 30 years.

Richard Barnard, RSPB area conservation manager, said: "Despite five years of monitoring data, and the presentation of clear evidence from local raptor groups and the RSPB, some members of the group are still failing to acknowledge that the main reason birds of prey are doing so badly in the Dark Peak is because of illegal persecution such as shooting, trapping and poisoning.

"By refusing to admit the scale of the problem, and its clear link with land used for driven grouse shooting, which is highlighted in numerous studies and reports, these members have frustrated any possibility of progress."

Incidents recorded since 2012 include the deliberate destruction of goshawk nests and eggs, the discovery of a dead bird and shots being fired at nests.

Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association, said: "The RSPB and the rest of the initiative all want the same thing - an improved assemblage of birds of prey across the National Park. We just disagree on how to get there."

The park authority admitted the scheme was "not working" but said it had "taken steps" to work more closely with landowners and gamekeepers
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I think that the problem with the RSPB is their Royal prefix, after all...it is somewhat synonymous with hunting, shooting and fishing...all being at odds with Protection? One might be excused for thinking that there might just be a conflict of interest.....in there somewhere?

The Society for the Protection of Birds might just be the ticket, to allow them to pursue the general interest of our avian friends at "full throttle" without worrying about the sensitivities of the all and sunder gentry (and wasn't that the mob that released the pernicious Grey Squirrel into our realm?)

This level of transparency (severing ties with the estate elites, and all that sails within), might just prod bods like myself with other, and ex former subscribers, to seriously consider renewing membership. I don't doubt that they already work closely with farmers and are doing some good in that direction.

However providing finance for "big-ticket" items like Cranes, Bitterns and the like, are no substitute for our island's (once-upon-a-time) fabric heritage of Skylarks, Buntings, Pipits, Lapwings and finches etc. I'd rather see/hear and read that the latter are increasing and are being prioritised with Society finances over the former!

Living in hope....for the sound of the lark again!

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