Who’s fooling who?

spinocularsSpinoculars at the ready, folks….

According to a new website, ‘Cairngorms Nature is a new partnership where people and organisations come together, regardless of sector or background, with one thing in common – a desire to safeguard and enhance the outstanding nature in the Cairngorms National Park’ (see here). An admirable project with an ambitious five-year action plan (see here) to be overseen and delivered by a ‘strategy group’ (see here for members).

Look closely at the detail of this action plan and you’ll find some barely believable action points that include:

Page 60 – Action: Restore the full community of raptor species. Key Partners:

(a) SGA and SLE to trial innovative techniques to increase raptor populations;

(b) Police Service, SLE, SGA, BASC to raise awareness and understanding, provide advice and training on wildlife legislation;

(c) Police Service to monitor wildlife crime in the national park;

(d) CNPA, SNH, SLE, SGA, RSPB to support collaboration to reduce conflicts in species and wildlife management.

Page 62 – Key species for focused action: Golden eagle. Key Actions:

(a) RSPB, CNPA, HFW and SNH to continue and expand Raptor Track project to gather data, raise awareness and understanding, and provide advice and guidance for land managers;

(b) SLE, SGA and SNH to work with moorland managers to manage mountain hare populations for the benefit of golden eagles.

In other unbelievable news, the latest SNH magazine has been published (#17, see here) and includes two contributed articles: one written by an employee of Scottish Land and Estates (page 34) and one by an employee of the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (page 54). Both articles, as well as a gushing editorial from SNH Chief Executive Ian Jardine (page 3) would have us believe that these two organisations are dedicated to protecting Scotland’s wildlife.

This magazine also includes an article about Scotland’s so-called Big Five, including the golden eagle (page 13). This is a carefully worded piece that totally ignores the species’ unfavourable conservation status and the reasons for that. The best line has to be: “There are reckoned to be around 440 pairs in Scotland, located mainly in the Highlands and Islands but with a presence in the Borders and Southern Uplands too“. I suppose “a presence” is one way of describing the golden eagle’s precarious status in southern Scotland, where they are barely hanging on by the tip of their talons thanks to the effect of illegal persecution (e.g. see here).

And finally, if you haven’t read enough guff,  the SGA’s Bert Burnett treats us to his thoughts on climate change (here) – a worthy contender for a scholarship at the Sarah Palin Institute of Scientific Understanding.


9 Responses to “Who’s fooling who?”

  1. 1 Chris Roberts
    May 21, 2013 at 9:58 am

    All very worrying, I have already made a comment with regard to the SNH magazine, on the thread about climate change and the SGA answer to kill predators.

  2. 2 Dave Dick
    May 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

    This whole battle over Scotland’s raptors could be entitled “who gets to say how many.” If organisations such as SGA and SLE become officially involved in “restoring the full community of raptor species”, you can bet your life thats really about limiting the number of raptors to maximise grouse, partridge and pheasant for the guns.Ban driven grouse shooting and this whole problem goes away..and then how many of them will want to help to restore those ecosystems?
    We really are into “Brave New World” and “1984” territory here….

  3. May 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Contained within a joint RSPB and Natural England publication titled ‘Treading Carefully,’ covering conservation efforts to protect hen harriers in the Forest of Bowland the public are advised, “Gamekeepers and Landowners in Bowland are working with Natural England and the RSPB to help secure a better future for hen harriers. This information may explain why no progress on securing a better and safe future for hen harriers in Bowland has been achieved in my view. Working with xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is unlikely to reverse to current trend on red grouse moors anywhere. In fact, the current situation in the Forest of Bowland today relating to raptors generally, is now much worst than before Natural England and the RSPB became involved. This year there are no hen harriers, one deserted eagle owl nest has been discovered, and up to fifteen peregrine territories have been found empty culminating in the disappearance of breeding pairs from each of these abandoned territories.

  4. 4 Rob
    May 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

    So will their innovative ways involve raising raptors in pens and then releasing them en-mass to be controlled by their SGA crackshots before they get near their game? What would be really innovative would be for the British and Scottish governents to get their fingers out and outlaw the medieval country sports that so damage our diversity and benefit so few.
    Surely it’s what any right-minded, swiveleyesed government would want to do, isn’t it?

  5. 5 nirofo
    May 21, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    British game shooting interests threaten all our protected Raptors and moorland wildlife habitat, there’s only one way to safeguard and enhance the outstanding nature in all the UK, let alone the Cairngorms and that’t to put an end once and for all to the disgusting practice of driven Red Grouse, Pheasants and Partridge shooting. It’s more than obvious to anyone involved with wildlife outside the game shooting fraternity that the plight of our so-called protected Raptors lies solely in the hands of the shooting estates and their gamekeepers, it really makes you wonder who is pulling the strings of SNH/NE and the RSPB when they are so eager to cowtow to these people and to not only allow these concerted attacks on OUR wildlfe but to give them every assistance to boot. It’s time we all got together and publicly announce to anyone who will listen just what is happening to our wildlife at the hands of these selfish people, embarrass them at every opportunity, tweet and blog about them openly, use facebook to let your frinds know, harass your members of parliament etc, give it to them, don’t let them destroy our British wildlife without a fight.

  6. May 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Skimming over the details of this very ambitious project, I’m initially impressed – communication and co-operation are surely the only way forward for both people and wildlife.
    One slight reservation for ”Cairngorm Nature ” – remember the formation of the Moorland Forum back in 2002 which now involves around 30 key member groups. How much has been achieved in over a decade of debate?
    Lets hope for all concerned that this project is progressive and delivers some of its aims.

  7. 7 John McAree
    May 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    At least SNH have now stopped the pretense that they are a neutral regulatory body. What we need now are the bodies on OUR side to also stop the pretense. All we need for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing- my concern is that the good men will do too little.

  8. 8 Circus maximus
    May 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I no longer co-operate with SNH as they have lost their reason for existence. Frankly things wont get any better until RSPB and LINK etc loose their ties to SNH and are free to properly represent the causes they were set up to fight for.

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