Trust supports RSPB march against raptor persecution

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is supporting a march by the RSPB on Saturday 12 April in Inverness to condemn the recent persecution of raptors in the Black Isle.

In recent weeks, 14 red kites and five buzzards have been found dead near Conon Bridge, with tests showing 12 of the 19 had been poisoned.

A peaceful protest over the deaths of the raptors is to be held at Inverness High Street from 2pm tomorrow.

Red kite numbers in the Black Isle have suffered from persecution since their reintroduction to the area over 20 years ago, and according to the Scottish Raptor Study Group, in 2012 there were only 52 pairs of red kites laying eggs in the Black Isle.

However, a similar reintroduction in the Chilterns in the south of England has seen populations thrive. There are now between 900 and 1,000 breeding pairs in that area. This is despite the two areas having the same initial number of birds released, and the established populations having similar productivity.

Chairman of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Allan Bantick, said: “We fully supports the action led by the RSPB to show that wildlife organisations and the public will not stand for raptors being treated in this way.

“This is an opportunity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and show a united front that raptor persecution will not be tolerated. The cases recently in the Black Isle highlight the threats that birds of prey face during all stages of their life cycle across the country.

“For that reason, the Scottish Wildlife Trust runs 24-hour raptor protection programmes with the help of our dedicated staff and volunteers. These include Operation Peregrine at Falls of Clyde in New Lanark and our famous osprey watch at Loch of the Lowes, near Dunkeld in Perthshire.

“Raptor persecution is a wildlife crime that can be punishable by imprisonment and the Scottish Wildlife Trust would urge people to remain vigilant and report any incidents to the police. These events are abhorrent, but wildlife organisations, responsible land owners, the police and the public can work together to raise awareness of this crime.”

Preface

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is supporting a march by the RSPB on Saturday 12 April in Inverness to condemn the recent persecution of raptors in the Black Isle. In recent …

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