Reintroductions “a threat to biodiversity”

An astonishing display of ignorance was on show in The Telegraph this week. The group calling themselves the Veterinary Association of Wildlife Management (VAWM) has claimed that the reintroduction of native species, formerly wiped out by persecution (e.g. sea eagle and red kite) are “potential man-made threats to biodiversity“. Really?  Methinks someone at the VAWM needs to read up on the Convention of Biological Diversity.

The VAWM, formerly known as Vets for Hunting (hmm, another group with a PR-induced name change – sound familiar?), also claim that the UK’s population of red kites was ‘threatening songbird species’. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Perhaps VAWM spokesman Dr Lewis Thomas (a retired veterinary pathologist) should swap his rusty old scalpel for a shiny pair of binoculars. Ignorance is no excuse. Telegraph article here.

Interestingly, according to their facebook page, the Scottish Gamekeepers Association agrees with the VAWM’s sentiments on reintroductions. And this from a group whose members routinely rear and release millions of non-native gamebirds into our countryside every year, without any accountability for the environmental damage this may cause. Amazing.

Meanwhile, back in the real world of conservation, RSPB Scotland has secured major funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to extend their fantastic sea eagle reintroduction project for another year (see here).

1 Response to “Reintroductions “a threat to biodiversity””

  1. July 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Has the world gone completely mad? Who the heck is this ‘Dr’ Thomas to be writing such misleading articles based on an apparent complete lack of understanding on how an ecosystem works in a national broadsheet, adding further to the general confusion and giving fuel to all those who oppose reintroductions of majestic raptors, which we wiped out in the first place anyway?

    It’s even got the Red Kite and the White-tailed Eagle mixed up in the graphic at the top of the article.

    What worries me is that these people who spout bad science are often listened to by the movers and shakers. And we know that they even distort good science to their own ends.

    Isn’t it time for some kind of absolutely independent umbrella organisation, a sort of ‘wildlife oversight committee’, with professional naturalists from all fields on the board, who would be the guiding hand, leading to joined-up thinking when issues such as re-introductions, badger-culling, or any other matter with a whiff of controversy about it come up for debate/action?

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