It’s interesting to look back over the decades to see how our enforcement agencies have been addressing the issue of raptor persecution in Scotland. A rudimentary search on Google will reveal endless statements of intent from a succession of Ministers determined to “stamp out” wildlife crime. Well guess what? Not much has changed over the last 30 years! Yes, yes, they may have established ‘partnerships’ with the very bodies whose members are behind some of the crimes, and they may have written attractive little soundbites about how disgusted they are every time the body of yet another poisoned eagle/kite/buzzard/harrier/peregrine etc has been found. But what progress has been made on stopping the actual killings? You only have to read the pages of this blog to see that the killing continues.
Here is a map taken from an article that was published in the Scotsman newspaper on March 11 1993. It portrays a series of raptor persecution incidents in the Monadhliath Hills, south of Inverness, as recorded by the RSPB over several years. The article explains that the Monadhliath Hills is prime habitat for golden eagles, hen harriers etc. And now here we are 17 years later, do you think that the area now holds many breeding pairs of eagles and harriers? You can probably guess the answer to that.
So come on Scottish Ministers, it’s time to stop talking about it and take some action!