Goshawk shot on sporting estate in Cairngorms National Park

A goshawk has been shot on an Aberdeenshire sporting estate inside the Cairngorms National Park.

The shooting was witnessed by a man walking his dogs in the Strathdon area in April. The bird was shot approx 30 yards away by an unseen gunman.

The witness took the bird to the New Arc wildlife sanctuary where an examination revealed severe damage to the lung and shoulder. The goshawk was euthanised.

Police Scotland are apparently investigating this crime. The name of the estate where the shooting was witnessed has not been released.

Article in P&J here

This part of the Cairngorms National Park is no stranger to illegal raptor persecution, and indeed goshawks have been targeted here before (see here). The situation is so bad in this region that in 2014 the Convenor of the Cairngorms National Park Authority wrote to the Environment Minister to warn that continued incidents of dead and ‘disappearing’ raptors threatened to undermine the reputation of the National Park as a high quality wildlife tourism destination (see here).

Land management within the Cairngorms National Park (notably driven grouse moors) has recently come under fire following the continuing mass slaughter of mountain hares (see here and here) and the discovery of a dead hen harrier, suspected to have been shot (see here).

Please sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting HERE.

UPDATE 10th May 2016: Statement from Cairngorms National Park Authority here

Goshawk Bart x ray


32 Responses to “Goshawk shot on sporting estate in Cairngorms National Park”

  1. 1 Chris Roberts
    May 9, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Cairngorms National Park protecting our wildlife? what a sad joke. It will never be protected all the time that there are killing (aka driven grouse moors) estates within the park.

  2. 2 against feudalism
    May 9, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I really suspect that we are seeing only a tiny percentage, of those protected raptors that are being illegally killed. I open your posts, with an increasingly sinking feeling, another of our wonderful birds of prey slaughtered.

    Statistically, this is likely to be a keeper. Guns are allowed on these estates by permission only, so the estate in question will know who did this !

    Cancel all gun licences on that estate now, cancel all subsidy and grant money now. The estate owners are fully aware of what is going on, they do have the ability to stop this, but are deliberately choosing not to, the same goes for the factors/managers, for them to claim otherwise is disingenuous nonsense.

    Hopefully, the Greens will be able to put pressure on the snp government to stamp out this crime against Scotland. Perhaps compulsory purchase of the estate in question should be considered?

    • 3 Doug Malpus
      May 9, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Sadly, this is, as you have said “only the tip of the iceberg”. I have mentioned this in other posts. How many raptors succumb to illegal killing where the corpse is never found or disposed of by the killers? We will never know.

      If only the police would take crimes like this seriously and the CPS take them to court. Instead, I believe that corruption within the police, CPS and the rich owners, is rife. Hence no action, conveniently based on insufficient evidence!!!

      Thoroughly sickening how the wealthy can manipulate their way out of law breaking. I used to think that lying was something that only low life criminals were adept at. But is it part of the education that the rich receive? Some of our politicians demonstrate fluent lying, so easily.

  3. 4 Mrs A M Thorburn
    May 9, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I wish they’d stop calling it a ‘sporting’ estate – no more sport involved than lining up skittles to knock down whilst ensuring there is nothing that will get in the way of knocking them over!

  4. May 9, 2016 at 11:18 am

    This shooting was witnessed by a dogwalker who was only 30 yards away?….sounds like a serious firearms offence of using a weapon in a dangerous manner…hopefully the police are investigating that too…

    • 6 Chris
      May 9, 2016 at 11:26 am

      Good point Dave. One that we should perhaps follow up. What are your thoughts on this RPS? As pointed out above, this is more common than is ever admitted.

      • 7 michael gill
        May 9, 2016 at 11:53 am

        According to the P&J, it was 20-30 yards. How do you get to within 20-30 yards of a goshawk? Even without a dog? And, according to the P&J, “The goshawk had come into the care of the north-east wildlife sanctuary New Arc late last month after it had been shot the week before in Strathdon”. Where was it in the intervening 7 days? Especially if it “seemed to be in reasonably good health despite its injuries”?

        • May 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

          I can think of several ways of getting that close to a goshawk, used by criminals and wildlife photographers concealing themselves close to a bait, nest site or plucking post..as for the, “where was it” line – what are you implying?..is this yet again the petty criminal/Glasgow lawyer nitpicking on irrelevant detail to divert from the actual crime?…why on earth would these people make it all up?

          • 9 michael gill
            May 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm

            Woa … Don’t get paranoid matey. The bloke said he was out walking his dog. How do you get 20-30 yards from a goshawk while walking your dog? If the bird was attracted to a bait, that’s a crime scene with potential evidence. I’m just wanting more information that’s all. If it was at a nest, that would have been in a dense forest so the gun must have had to be close also. I’m just hoping the police have this information and will do something with it. And if you think I’m “nitpicking on irrelevant detail”, if you want to get a conviction, nitpicking the detail is how it’s done.

  5. 11 Michael
    May 9, 2016 at 11:35 am

    “Perhaps compulsory purchase of the estate in question should be considered?”

    No. Make it forfeiture without compensation, as is done with the assets of other serious criminals.

    • 12 against feudalism
      May 9, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Thank you Michael, I try and moderate my posts somewhat :) My own feeling is, that these huge private landholdings HAVE to be broken up, for the good of the country.

      Estates should be closed down, whilst police investigation takes place, no appeals, no but, but – close them.

      If the estate will not name the criminal, remove ALL gun licences. All involved in these crimes, from the top to bottom, are laughing at the law, and the general public must be made aware, that they are CRIMINALS, and should be treated with contempt.

      LAND REFORM and LVT is the way to achieve this.

  6. 13 Tommy O'Rourke
    May 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Typical of the gamekeeper fraternity.
    Now we’re told that Common Ravens, which are anything but common are a pest and need killing too.
    Time to take these vested interests on.
    Take their gun licences away.

  7. 14 Colin McP
    May 9, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    “Small metal bullet”, and with the x-ray not looking quite like lead shot (more than 1, larger?). If that’s the case, wonder if the Police have thought to take a look at ballistics and all the licensed rifles locally to try and get a match.

  8. 15 John Hickerton
    May 9, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    The bird was put down “because the operation was too risky” ….eh? WTF And that is a shotgun pellet.

  9. May 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Its good to see people raising questions like removal of shooting licences – I believe our National Parks have powers to do this if they had the will – which I have covered previously on my blog. Many people may not know though that the estates in the CNPA are asked to produce management statements – and I have published a piece on this today http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2016/05/09/another-raptor-killed-cairngorms-national-park/

  10. 17 lesley
    May 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Aaah god not another …that poor bird it makes me physically sick the ******** may they rot in hell

  11. 18 Peter Jones
    May 9, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    The whole shooting industry is in denial. We repeatedly hear how they are appalled at these far from unusual incidents, yet they fool nobody. Instead of regulating themselves wildlife crime is flourishing, but they will lose as it is a numbers game and far more people are joining the ranks of anti shooting, as more of these crimes are brought to the notice of decent people. A good start for all opposed to these disgusting acts is to sign the petition against driven grouse shooting here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003

  12. 19 Carrie
    May 9, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    It does make you wonder why estates are so tolerant of unknown people coming onto ‘their’ land with firearms and shooting protected wildlife, much to the detriment of the estate’s reputation. If they truly know nothing about it then they would surely be hounding the police to get results? I wonder how much longer it will be before we hear anything on the SSPCA issue (now that the election’s over, which was no doubt the reason for holding back). The result of that will tell us which side the SNP is on, one way or the other.

  13. 20 crypticmirror
    May 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Why is the estate not being named? Is it for the same xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx reasons the estate in Wales a couple of months ago was not named? It is long past time these estates were named and shamed, and if that leads to them being pilloried and losing (what is left of) their good names then maybe they can consider it an incentive to actually take the problem seriously.

    [Ed: A few words edited out there, crypticmirror. We are still doing background work to put us in a position to be able to name the estate in Wales. Watch this space]

    • 21 crypticmirror
      May 9, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Damn, you noticed that did you? Was it the xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx that got me?

      [Ed: unsubtle speculation isn’t helpful right now and could lead to a defamation case against us]

      • 22 crypticmirror
        May 9, 2016 at 9:49 pm

        Apologies there, I thought using the “something” word format was being sufficiently unspecific on that post there. I’ll put my hand up to being naughty first time around, but I thought it was obscure enough to be safe on the reply. Sorry on that one.

  14. May 9, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Now if we had similar gun laws to the U.S. there may be a few more “accidents” across the grouse moors. How many Keeper deaths would it take before the police DID take an interest?

  15. 24 Alister J. Clunas
    May 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Cairngorms National Park Authority needs to be careful that (un)sporting estates do not shoot the goose that lays the golden eggs. i.e. tourism

    From its own website:

    “Tourism is vital to the Cairngorms National Park. It accounts for 30% of the economy (GVA) and 43% of employment.”

    “However, it’s crucial that visitors don’t undermine the very things that attract them in the first place – landscape, wildlife, culture, tranquility.”

    No mention of (un)sporting estates undermining the very thing that attracts tourists!

    (Un)sporting estates are seriously undermining the very raison d’etre for the national park.

  16. 25 Jimmy
    May 9, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    These scumbags get more brazen by the day!!

  17. 27 Del.
    May 11, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Nothing will every change and the illegal killing of raptors will continue until ‘Driven Grouse Shooting’ is banned on ‘ALL’ our UK National parks.

  18. 28 kevin
    May 11, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    [Ed: Kevin, very interesting, thank you, but we’re unable to publish it without seeing some evidence to support your claim. If you have any, we’d be keen to see it (in confidence). Please send to: raptorpersecutionscotland@hotmail.com ]

  19. 29 Jack Snipe
    May 30, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Why do we repeatedly hear words to the effect that “The name of the estate where the shooting was witnessed has not been released.” If a bank is robbed, it’s not “an unnamed bank in the north of England” that we’re told in the news. Surely revealing the location of the crime is essential in seeking any information which local people might be able to provide, in the advancement of solving the crime. I hesitate to use the old cliché, but it’s rather obviously one law for the rich, another law for the rest of us.

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