12
Oct
12

How many licences have been issued to kill so-called ‘protected’ ravens?

‘How many licences have been issued to kill ravens?’ This was one of a series of raven-killing questions asked recently of the Scottish Government by Alison Johnstone MSP (Lothian, Scottish Green Party).

Here’s the full suite of her written questions lodged on 18th September 2012:

S4W-09688 Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government how many licences to kill ravens were granted by (a) it and (b) Scottish Natural Heritage in (i) 2011 and (ii) 2012 and what the grounds were for granting such licences, broken down by local authority.

S4W-09689 Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government how many multi-annual licences to kill ravens have been granted since 2011, broken down by local authority.

S4W-09690 Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government what proportion of holders of licences to kill ravens indicated that they had made kills in 2011 and how many birds were killed.

S4W-09691 Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government how many licences to kill ravens have not been renewed by Scottish Natural Heritage because of non-compliance with conditions in each year since 2011.

S4W-09692 Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government whether Scottish Natural Heritage will publish details annually of the number of ravens killed under licence.

S4W-09693 Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government what factors are considered when considering granting a licence to kill ravens.

S4W-09694 Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government whether there are licensing restrictions to control the killing of ravens in nests during the breeding season.

S4W-09695 Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government what checks are made to ensure that livestock protection licences to kill ravens are not used for game management.

The answers provided by Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse are quite interesting (see here for full script). SNH took over the responsibility of issuing licences from 1st July 2011 – previously the Scottish Government had issued them.

It’s fascinating to learn what factors are considered by SNH when considering whether to grant one of these licences. Apparently, “SNH relies on expert advice from site visits made by Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) staff to inform licensing decisions“. Interesting. I wonder how many ornithologists and/or ecologists work for SGRPID?

It’s also fascinating to learn that SNH also relies upon SGRPID to make site visit checks to ensure that livestock protection licences (which is how these raven-killing licences are defined) to kill ravens are not used for game management. Apparently if allegations were made in this respect, then SNH would rely upon the police to investigate. Perhaps that’s why, in answer to Alison’s question about how many licences to kill ravens have not been renewed by SNH (since 2011) because of non-compliance with the conditions of the licence, Mr Wheelhouse replied: “To date, no such cases have occurred“. Really?

Another interesting piece of information to emerge from these written questions and answers is the confirmation that a raven-killing licence was issued in the Scottish Borders for 2012. Now, according to our sources, a raven-killing licence was issued at Langholm this year. Hopefully more detailed information about this will appear on the Langholm project website in due course. Is this a fore-runner to the issuing of a buzzard-killing licence at Langholm? We are aware that, unofficially at least, there is great interest in ‘controlling’ buzzards at Langholm amongst some of the project partners. Thankfully, so far, there has also been strong opposition to this move by some of the other project partners. You don’t need to be Einstein to work out which partners are for and which are against.

Finally, Mr Wheelhouse assures us that “SNH is considering how to publish statistics [of the annual number of ravens killed under licence] in the future“.

Well done Alison Johnstone MSP for asking some probing questions.

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37 Responses to “How many licences have been issued to kill so-called ‘protected’ ravens?”


  1. October 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

    As Ravens are without doubt, one of my favourite birds, I find the whole idea of Licences like this totally & utterly abhorrent.
    For me, they are quite magnificent, intelligent & absolutely fascinating birds & I just can’t get my head around the need for people’s desire to exterminate these wonderful birds, for the sake of providing game birds for the wealthy to shoot.
    However, if these licences have to be granted, surely they should never ever be issued to any estate or estate employee, where there has been even a hint of previous illegal poisoning or shooting of protected birds?

    • 2 Grouseman
      October 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      It’s not a need for extermination it’s about control. No licences have been issued for any other reason than for the protection and welfare of livestock and that includes for any wild bird protection. Surely it is better from a welfare point of view that a farmer perhaps gets gamekeepers to assist with this selective removal as they are likely to have more shooting experience and will get the job done more efficiently and more cleanly.

  2. 3 Dave Dick
    October 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

    It should be remembered that as recently as the mid 1980s the raven was extinct as a breeding bird in the Borders – we could easily return to those dreadful days. The issuing of licences should never be taken lightly it is a green light to persecutors, lessens the status of the bird to “vermin” in the minds of shooters…but most importantly starts to be used as mitigation in court cases – “my client apologises for killing the ravens he had applied for a licence, his neighbour has one”, result…admonished.

    …and another warning if you give a licence to kill to a section of society which, as this Blog has shown almost daily for some years, cannot be trusted to stay within the Law where wildlife is concerned – the concept of a bag limit is laughable.I know for a fact – from an impeccable source close to the “action” of an estate killing over 140 ravens under a bag limit of 6 on a west coast island. Reported far too late to be of any legal use. [those were roosting ravens from a wide area].

  3. 4 Merlin
    October 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Bloody hell Grouseman, are you having an affair with a keeper, what a sweeping generalisation stating keepers are better than farmers, most of us on here dont want keepers on their own land with guns let alone someone elses

    • 5 Grouseman
      October 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      Well neither of the above and by some of your small minded immature comments its probably quite apt you have used one of the smallest raptors as your sudaname! I’m not saying keepers are better than farmers but lets be realistic, shooting is one if the most used tools used by keepers in their day to day work so chances are they will have a lot more practice than a lot of farmers! If you read my post correctly I was defending farmers that gain the assistance of keepers when killing ravens under licence!

    • 6 Marco McGinty
      October 12, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      And before issuing the licences, were all non-lethal means trialled?

      • 7 Grouseman
        October 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm

        To get a licence at all it would have to be shown that non lethal messures were first taken and were ineffectual. The problems with raven faced by keepers and farmers is not one or two resident breeding pairs it is the flocks of immature birds (often in groups as large 100/200) hunting together whether it is for lambs, eggs or chicks. Bear in mind we are talking about a bird that has a very stable and increasing population worldwide and is under far less threat than many of the species they predate on.

        • 8 sh23363
          October 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

          Grouseman…You have been watching too much Alfred Hitchcock. Remember though he made fictional films not documentaries. These immature birds are the breeding stock of the future so it is NOT acceptable to wipe them out just because they are not “residents”, even if that were true. It is likely that some of the large aggregations of ravens include breeding birds as well as immatures, possibly from a wide area. It entirely possible that “controlling” these has population scale effects.

          • 9 Grouseman
            October 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm

            Personally I think the first half of your comment is disrespectful especially considering how many hours I have spent watching ravens hunting and decimating wildlife! I think you will find an established pair of ravens will have no interest in congregating with these non territorial non breeding juivinilles many of which aren’t even resident to Britain all year round! Besides, bear in mind we are talking about CONTROL not eradication which wouldn’t be possible even if this was desired.

            • 10 Marco McGinty
              October 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm

              “many of which aren’t even resident to Britain all year round!”

              In response to this statement, in which you suggest that as the birds are “non-resident” it should be OK to kill them, I would like to ask you some questions.

              1. Do you believe that Ospreys should be shot in an attempt to preserve fish stocks? They are, after all, not resident all year round.
              2. Considering your intolerance for “non-resident” birds, should Pheasant poults be introduced into the UK (in their millions) each year for shooting purposes?
              3. By using the word CONTROL, do you actually mean KILL?
              4. Your statement “considering how many hours I have spent watching ravens hunting and decimating wildlife!” indicates that such decimation happens on a regular basis. Would you be so kind as to offer the readers here some examples of such airborne attacks in which wildlife has been decimated?

              A simple Yes or No answer for questions 1 to 3 will suffice, but it would be helpful if you could expand your answer for question 4.

              • 11 Grouseman
                October 12, 2012 at 10:34 pm

                1 – No because they aren’t present in large enough numbers to present serious problems.
                2 – No as they aren’t impacting on the native wildlife or anyone’s livelihood.
                3 – Yes

                4 – obviously ravens do not carry out airborne attacks and I didn’t suggest for one minutes they did. I am talking about them robbing the nests of Red grouse, Golden plover, lapwings and Black grouse for both eggs and small chicks.

                • 12 Marco McGinty
                  October 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

                  1. This is a deeply worrying answer. So, if Ospreys eventually reach between 500-1,000 UK pairs, you would support a cull if some fisheries reported problems?
                  2. Despite the shooting industries hogwash, the introduction of non-native Pheasants does have a major impact on native wildlife. What about the millions of native creatures that are killed each year (legally and illegally) to protect stocks? What about the negative impacts that Pheasants have on native wildlife post-release (prey items, out-competing, etc.)?
                  3. OK
                  4. So, they take some chicks and eggs. Anyone with an interest in natural history would realise that this has happened for millennia and is hardly evident of the decimation described. And I know I’m probably nit-picking here, but unless these particular Ravens walked all the way to find these nests, then they were indeed airborne.

                  • 13 sh23363
                    October 13, 2012 at 8:58 am

                    Marco McGinty – thankyou for exploring some of the deficiencies in Grouseman’s arguement. I didn;t really know where to begin.

                    Anyhow isn’t ‘decimating wildlife’ what gamekeepers and sporting ‘guns’ do? Or do I misunderstand what is meant by ‘wildlife’?

                    Grouseman – I think it highly likely that aggregations of ravens DO include adult birds that are established resident pairs somewhere. You are still advocating killing that could have population scale effects. Ravens are part of healthy ecosystems just like other predators. Populations of grouse, lapwing etc in healthy ecosystems can stand decimation and worse without adverse population level effects. Their breeding systems are designed to sustain what seem to us to be heavy losses. Removal of predators does nothing to promote a healthy ecosystem it just perpetuates imbalances created by past misguided efforts to ‘control’ things.

        • 14 Marco McGinty
          October 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm

          So, you can categorically state that all non-lethal measures were trialled in each and every case? You can categorically state that each and every application was 100% true? You can categorically state that diversionary feeding was trialled in all cases? You can categorically state that methods such as live-trapping and translocation were trialled in all cases?

          • 15 Grouseman
            October 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm

            No I am saying that for any licence to be granted it would have to be shown that reasonable methods had already been tried. Anyway shouldn’t these questions be directed at the person that issues the licence to farmers? Personally I feel it is wrong its surprisingly easy to gain a licence for livestock protection but SNH will never issue a licence for protecting grouse or waders. Oh and for the record translocation wouldn’t have been tried as this would be illegal without a licence to do so! How exactly do you suggest you would trap ravens for relocation just out if interest?

            • 16 Marco McGinty
              October 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

              You are contradicting yourself, Grouseman. You state that all reasonable methods would have been tried, then you say that translocation would not have been tried. In my view, translocation would be deemed a perfectly reasonable alternative to killing, so logic dictates that all these licences were issued illegally. And, if you were to attempt translocation, you apply for a licence. If you can apply for a licence to kill Ravens, then you can apply to translocate them. It’s all fairly straightforward.

              As regards to trapping, I’m sure your gamekeeper friends will have many novel ideas on how best to trap them, but if these terrifying, rampaging flocks are as largs as some people would have you believe, then surely cannon-netting would be a suitable method. You would be able to catch hundreds at a time.

              • 17 Grouseman
                October 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm

                These large flocks aren’t figments or people’s imagination I have seen them on all too many occasions which my own eyes. Personally I don’t think your whole cannon netting idea would work for one instance but feel free to experiment and see how you get on! Surely translocation of anything whether its ravens, badgers or ASBO families from a council estate surely this is just dumping the problem on someone else’s backdoor?

                • 18 Marco McGinty
                  October 12, 2012 at 11:33 pm

                  I don’t have a problem with the Ravens, so why should I have to go to the expense of taking the trial? If certain landowners/land managers have a problem with Ravens, then they should be trialling such methods. That is the whole point of this particular discussion – to obtain a licence, ALL non-lethal means should be tested, and despite your protestations, translocation is such a method.

              • 19 Grouseman
                October 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm

                I see you assume I have gamekeeper friends when you have no idea of my background, for all u know I could be a keeper, factor, sporting agent, land manager, farmer, landowner, shooter, beater or simply someone who likes playing devils advocate on Internet forums!

  4. 21 Stewart Love
    October 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    The army has a lot more practice in shooting but at least they allow there enemies to surrender, unlike some gamekeepers who shoot first then hide the bodies. Until Gamekeepers start telling the police, who among their members are the supposed “rogue element” they will never be trusted. Grouseman you should understand by now that the word “Gamekeeper” is a swear word in most peoples heads. I think maybe it’s time the Gamekeepers cleaned up their profession and “shopped” a few of the so called bad apples, maybe then people will listen to you.

    • 22 Grouseman
      October 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm

      It wouldn’t matter if Gamekeepers called themselves Rangers, wildlife managers or game wardens most people, especially most people on this blog, would know the job was still fundimentaly the same and by changing the name it would be viewed with suspicion that people were trying to hide something and were ashamed of the profession.

  5. 23 Stewart Love
    October 12, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Correct, so it’s up to Gamekeepers to clean up their act then the public will begin to respect and believe them. The answer to the problem is with the Gamekeepers. Stop killing Raptors or get the few bad apples to stop. Simple.

    • 24 Grouseman
      October 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Or it is time for a serious review of the problems and to try and strike a balance where all parties are to a certain extent are happy. As we are all aware the quota system has been talked about time and time again so isn’t it time for allowances to be made where sporting estates can control some protected predators where they are impacting on jobs and the local economy.

        • 26 Grouseman
          October 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

          If people truly want a resolution to the conflict things like this need to be looked at. The problem is the vast majority of people on here are against game shooting, sporting estates and keepers and would like to see the whole culture disappear regardless of the consequences to the rural economy on wildlife.

          • 27 Marco McGinty
            October 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm

            No, the vast majority of people on here are against the criminal actions of gamekeepers and landowners and are sick reading about illegal raptor persecution. The vast majority of people on here are sick reading about the ineffectiveness and corrupt nature of the Scottish legal system, resulting in serial criminals walking free.

            If the game estates operated within the law and stopped killing protected species, most people here would be much more tolerant.

          • 28 Jimmy
            October 14, 2012 at 12:10 am

            I’m not against hunting or legal vermin control – I’m against the widespread criminality that continues to fester unchecked on too many shooting estates in this country and the toxic propoganda and misinformation put out more than a few shooting orgs against raptors to justify this unacceptable state of affairs

      • 29 Stewart Love
        October 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm

        If a quota system were introduced, could we trust estates to only take their allotted amount of Raptors. I don’t think so. It would merely allow estates to kill more Raptors legally, and who would do the counting, The “Keepers”, no sorry Grouseman, somehow I don’t think that would work.

  6. 30 Merlin
    October 13, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I agree its time for a review, jobs, mostly seasonal, 1 day a week for 16 weeks, mostly cash in hand and below minimum wage. industry heavily subsidised by tax payer, one recent example on here one estate getting 200k per annum, think how many local full time jobs that could create, most estates running at a loss, therefor no returns for the tax payer for all the subsidies provided. now you want to kill off protected wildlife so you can increase bag sizes

  7. 31 Merlin
    October 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Almost forgot, you speak of co operation between all involved in this debate, there is currently thousands of pounds of public money tied up in Langholm, already this is being undermined by the younng being killed as they disperse

    • 32 Circus maxima
      October 14, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Corrected for accuracy….
      “Almost forgot, you speak of co operation between all involved in this debate, there is currently hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money tied up in Langholm, already this is being undermined by the younng being killed as they disperse.”

  8. 33 Bill Jackson
    October 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Ok, I have read all this including the now regular rant of Grouseman who seems to take great delight to argue against the very subject he can not resist from playing devils advocat…have you really nothing better to do Sir? We have heard all these excuses and arguments against conservationists from keepers and others before who will till there dying day deny such gross and evil activities go on here in Scotland today…Read David Stephens intro to his book ” The world outside” where he notes that vast amounts of wildlife were killed year on year…901 wildcats, many tens of Badgers (67) in fact what’s new all dozens of Badgers were wiped out on Seil Island as recently as only during the past 10 years or so…1155 hawks and kites, 63 Hen Harriers, etc, etc all allegedly on the Glen Garry Estate. The only difference between 1940 and now is we have nowhere near the amount of wildlife that Scotland used to support…Sporting Estates are responsible and have always been so for the loss of most of our predatory animals and they can not deny the fact that it is still ongoing today with the evil deeds done by those involved in the shooting business. We now have the assistance of farmers joining in and taking out licences to exterminate whatever they claim is having an effect on their stock employing every dirty tactic including keepers to rid their farms of everything but fences but not the public funded grants to look after the environment, grass and stock and of course the right to roam did not take into account the electric fence used today. The Right to roam…. if you can…There seems to be very little control over the licence holder and SNH rely totally on these applicants putting in an accurate report of the numbers (bags) they have killed. and of course they must comply with the restrictions laid out along with the garanted licence.
    This has to be a joke in very bad taste…its a free for all without limitations and without a legal redress as its all done above board via SNH. Who is responsible for the issuing of these licences do they really know what they are doing to the very wildlife they are employed to show some interest in to the benefit of all.
    Please do not respond to this comment without reading the book and checking out the Glen Garry Estate records Mr Grouseman…its all recorded fact and like today was probably defended by folk just like yourself, blind to everything other than what interests yourself…I take it wildlife such as the magnificent Golden Eagle, Pine Martin and Wild Cat and Red necked Phalarope come a long way down on your list compared with Grouse and Pheasants… a very sad blinkered life you have indeed and maybe Raptor Persecution Scotland is your only outlet to allow you to express your quite outdated thoughts on supporting criminals doing what they do best….killing wildlife here in SCotland.
    My friend over on the Island of Seil was all excited today as he has seen a Kestrel two days in a row now…Wow…we are of course both on the boundaries of two so called sporting estates, Kestrels were quite a common breeding bird here 8/10 years ago just as these estates took up pheasant bashing, so the Kestels have all died of the same virus as the badger and other wildlife, of corse they have its called “keeperitus” Where have all the Ravens gone, take a really wild guess …with 40 licences granted by SNH here in Argyll & Bute like the Kestrel they will become rapidly rare.

    Bill Jackson

    • 34 Grouseman
      October 16, 2012 at 7:07 am

      Thanks for your concern but, yes, I do infact have far better things to e doing with my time but every aspect of society deserves a voice and I simply cannot scan over some of the things written in this blog without offering my opinion and defending my views. To be honest there is far too many people sit quietly and won’t stand up for their beliefs and if spending a few minutes a day responding to a few comments from people atticking them on here is hardly a big hardship. My problem with much of it is this is a blog aimed at highlighting and discussing raptor persecution but many of the followers would have it re-named as something like the anti-keeper society. They dont just harp on about raptords but also perfectly legal aspects of the job such as trapping, snaring, hill track maintenance etc. I have no problems at all with anyone expressing their opinion but the fact is many comments are at best misguided and at worse, plain lies.
      There will be many people who look at this website that love birds of prey and have no real insight or background on their views on keepers and sporting estates and if some of my comments can even make one person question some of the keeper bashing tactics and look at the whole picture I would consider my involvement in this blog a success. It is by no means my only outlet I am quite open about my beliefs and opinions in all aspects of my life and am by no means ashamed or embarrassed of them.
      I am well aware of some of the old vermin records from estates in the past (Glengarry is the most frequently documented one but if you want more try reading Silent Fields) and am not for one minute going to question their accuracy. I fully admit they make grim reading but these records are more than 70 years old and hold about as much current and relevent information as documents about the Holocaust. If you think this is an accurate representation of current estate management you are greatly mistaken. The persecution of raptors began long before the ‘invention’ of shooting estates and as far back as the ‘Tudor acts’. Admittedly they were only limited in their success until the arrival of shooting for sport in the early 1900’s.
      The fact of the matter is, we live in a far more populated country now in which every acre of it is managed. There is far more raptors to be seen on every sporting estate in the country than in areas not managed for shooting due to the larger availability of prey. I am not going to say no raptors are killed on any sporting estate as this would remove any credibility my arguements have, but many people on here constantly claim grouse moors are a barren wastelands and none can be seen. You only have to look at the amount of wildlife on Knarsdale Moor opposed to on the RSPB owned ‘nature reserve’ next door. Predator control is a vital part of wildlife conservation in a country such as ours that is too small and populated with not enough wilderness to let everything go and find its own natural balance as is much talked about!

      • 35 Marco McGinty
        October 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm

        In response to this, Grouseman, I will address some of these issues.

        “My problem with much of it is this is a blog aimed at highlighting and discussing raptor persecution but many of the followers would have it re-named as something like the anti-keeper society.”

        Can’t you understand, that the majority of raptor persecution incidents is carried out by gamekeepers, hence the anger displayed towards this section of society? There is not an anti-keeper agenda on here, but the people on here are very much against the illegal activities carried out by the members of the gamekeeping community.

        “They dont just harp on about raptords but also perfectly legal aspects of the job such as trapping, snaring, hill track maintenance etc.”

        Because much of the trapping and snaring reported on here is carried out illegally, catching rare and protected species which are usually then killed by the gamekeeper. I’ve said it before (and it looks like I will have to repeat it once again), but if the gamekeepers stiopped their illegal and persistent persecution of raptors and other protected species, then it would not be mentioned. I don’t recall any issue on this site with hill track maintenance, but I am happy to corrected on this.

        “I have no problems at all with anyone expressing their opinion but the fact is many comments are at best misguided and at worse, plain lies.”

        Please alert us to this plethora of misguided comments and the perceived lies.

        “It is by no means my only outlet I am quite open about my beliefs and opinions in all aspects of my life and am by no means ashamed or embarrassed of them.”

        If you are to be believed on this, then why do you write under a pseudonym and refuse to give your real name and occupation?

        “I fully admit they make grim reading but these records are more than 70 years old and hold about as much current and relevent information as documents about the Holocaust.”

        Sadly, there are still many people and groups holding on to far-right beliefs and still follow much of the hatred propogated by the Nazi party. To suggest otherwise is deeply offensive to survivors and the families of those that lost loved ones during this appalling episode of recent history. So, information and documents about the Holocaust is still very much relevant today, as is the widespread persecution of raptors and predators on many game estates throughout the land.

        “If you think this is an accurate representation of current estate management you are greatly mistaken.”

        Well, yes it is still accurate in relation to some estates. I will direct you to a quote taken from the RSPB Birdcrime 2011 document in which it states “Some gamekeepers claim, in confidence to the RSPB, that single estates are killing more birds of prey than the total number of confirmed incidents recorded annually by the RSPB for the entire UK. Some support for this is apparent from “vermin books” that are occasionally recovered by police. In 2008, for example, one such book from a lowland pheasant shoot indicated that,
        in less than a year, two gamekeepers had killed 102 buzzards, 40 badgers and 37 ravens.” This is indicative that there is widespread and systematic illegal persecution on game estates. Or is this all a lie? Are the gamekeepers lying to the RSPB or is it a lie concocted by the RSPB and the police? You can deny it all you want, but it is happening on game estates all over the land.

        “There is far more raptors to be seen on every sporting estate in the country than in areas not managed for shooting due to the larger availability of prey. I am not going to say no raptors are killed on any sporting estate as this would remove any credibility my arguements have, but many people on here constantly claim grouse moors are a barren wastelands and none can be seen.”

        More pro-shooting, propogandist pish and more blatant lies! There may well be some shooting estates where there are some raptors, but these will be estates that also participate in wildlife tourism, and therefore not involved in illegal persecution. I have been on some large grouse moors for lengthy periods of time with very few sightings of raptors. One moor, not far from Grantown-on-Spey, I managed the sum of 1 Kestrel in many hours of observation. In other words, very much a barren wasteland as far as raptor species are concerned.

        “Predator control is a vital part of wildlife conservation in a country such as ours that is too small and populated with not enough wilderness to let everything go and find its own natural balance as is much talked about!”

        More nonsense, as despite what you believe, wildlife would eventually find its own balance. This belief that the country is infested with “out of control” predator populations is nothing but a shooting lobby myth. How many time do we have to go over this same point – predators need healthy populations of prey species. If predators were rampaging through the country, decimating other species (as the shooting lobby would have us believe), it would have a detrimental impact on the future of the predator. No prey equates to starving and dying predators. It really is as simple as that. But then again, as you are clearly a proponent of raptor slaughter, we shouldn’t expect much else from you.

      • 36 Circus maxima
        October 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm

        “There is far more raptors to be seen on every sporting estate in the country than in areas not managed for shooting due to the larger availability of prey.” Sorry grouseman but statement is really really wrong.

        The peer reviewed research clearly states the fact that raptors are most abundant where there are no sporting estates. You are right in as much there is plenty prey on sporting estates….there is plenty of habitat…there are plenty of nest sites (which we know that the birds are happy to use). These areas have great potential to be better for raptors than the areas where they are confined. There is simply no legal reason for these birds to be absent.
        Knarsdale Moor….is not balanced and is biodiversity deficient.

  9. 37 Bill Jackson
    October 16, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Hello Lds, a correctioin please….difference between 1940 and now….. (this date should read 1830-40’s)

    Many thanks, Bill


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