New RSPB Head of Investigations

Congratulations to Mark Thomas who will be taking on the role of RSPB Head of Investigations in January, following the departure of Bob Elliot earlier this year.

Mark is no stranger to this field. He joined the RSPB’s Investigations Team based at The Lodge HQ way back in 1999 and has spent the last 19 years on the front line, gaining invaluable first hand experience in every type of crime against birds, not least those against birds of prey.

This is an excellent decision by the RSPB – it ensures continuity at a time of great upheaval for RSPB staff and at a critical time for tackling illegal raptor persecution.

Mark said: “Things have changed a lot since I first began. At that time we were the only ones banging on about raptor persecution but these days the word has spread and we receive massive support for our work through the police and other agency partners, as well as from the general public. I’m looking forward to supporting everyone in my team [which includes a number of field investigators as well as intelligence officers and analysts] to help them continue our efforts to tackle bird crime across the country“.

Well done, Mark, this is a well-deserved promotion.


9 Responses to “New RSPB Head of Investigations”

  1. December 3, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    A word from the wise if you haven’t already worked it out – have a good look at Peregrine breeders’ lines / chicks……..

    Keep up the pressure !

    • 2 Chris Barber
      December 3, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      That was done many years ago. Just because one stupid woman tried to launder a stolen peregrine into a breeding project does not mean this is widespread… It isn’t. Ruth will be able to confirm that, in the USA, the exact opposite occurred, falconers en masse put their peregrines into breeding enclosures, and progeny were released into the wild. This made a significant contribution to the recovery of the peregrine in the US, because falconers saw the risks of losing their wild populations. This saw the birth of the Peregrine Fund, an organization which has since gone on to make a very significant contribution to many other wild raptor species conservation globally. That is fact ; check it out for yourself sennen. Falconers are not the enemy here.

      I will add that the person who has influenced your incorrect opinion is widely know, and shunned by most of the falconry community. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect you will find the reason for her crime being uncovered was from a tip off from within the falconry community.

      If you have any evidence to back up what you suggest, I would advise you to report it, rather than make a comment here that some might consider to be libelous.

      Whilst you are doing your research on The Peregrine Fund, you might also want to look at something called Project Lugger, something set up by a prominent UK falconer, and also at the work being done on the ground through the range of the saker falcon to minimize losses of wild falcons to electrocution.

      • 3 Falcon watcher
        December 5, 2018 at 7:23 pm

        £15k for a breeding pair of peregrines on Facebook this year and they were sold.£10k for another pair I think they were also sold all in the uk .Add the word scottish when your selling a female peregrine falcon and the money goes up.

  2. December 3, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    The genetics of some apparently wild chicks in nests would also prove interesting.

    Keep up the pressure !

    • 5 Chris Barber
      December 3, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Again, there is a project currently running, set up by a falconer, to do just this in the home counties of Southern England. It is also trying to obtain DNA samples from captive peregrines to compare. The aim was to try and find out the source of the recovered wild populations there.

  3. December 3, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    I just hope the planned reductions in manpower at RSPB don’t impact the investigations personnel too greatly.

  4. 7 Alan Cranston
    December 3, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Great news!

  5. 8 Spadge
    December 3, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Good News the post has been filled by an experienced person , I would like to wish Mark all the very best, and please keep a very close eye on North Yorkshire , Thanks.

  6. 9 Dylanben
    December 3, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Excellent news.

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