Back in 2010 a man named Jeffrey Lendrum stole 14 peregrine eggs from nests across South Wales. These eggs were worth £70,000 to him but are priceless for anyone who cares about these birds. He was arrested at Birmingham Airport as he waited for a flight to Dubai. The eggs were found after a cleaner noticed Lendrum going in and out the showers quickly without using them. The counter-terrorism police were alerted and Lendrum was caught with 14 eggs strapped to his body in socks to keep them warm and viable.
After the eggs were seized by the police, 11 of the eggs were successfully hatched and the highly protected eyasses were released back into the wild. These eyasses were taken to protected eyries across the country and the Falls of Clyde was chosen to receive three female eyasses. At the time we were under a legal embargo and we couldn’t tell anyone about the circumstances under which these three birds were here at our reserve.
Originally we had two male eyasses but one was much younger than the other and he was struggling to compete for food. When the three females arrived, our young male went to another eyrie nearby with eyasses of the same age. By the end of the season all eyasses had successfully fledged. The circumstances behind this story are terrible but we were so chuffed that our adult peregrines and our protected watch site were chosen to rear these very special birds.
Later in 2010 the legal embargo was lifted and Lendrum was sentenced to 30 months in prison after admitting attempting to smuggle rare birds out of Britain.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust is currently producing a series of briefings on different important environmental topics throughout the Year of Natural Scotland. The latest one is on wildlife crime, click here to read more about wildlife crime in Scotland and what the Scottish Wildlife Trust wants to see happen in the future. The Scottish Wildlife Trust works closely with the Partnership Against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland) and are heavily involved in protecting many species including the peregrines at the Falls of Clyde
Laura Whitfield – Falls of Clyde Ranger