06
May
21

Poisoned golden eagle: statement from Cairngorms National Park Authority

Further to the news that a poisoned golden eagle was found dead on Invercauld Estate in March 2021 (see here), the Cairngorms National Park Authority has issued the following statement in response:

GOLDEN EAGLE DEATH

The Cairngorms National Park Authority has issued the following statement in relation to the death of a Golden Eagle in Deeside.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) have been informed by Police Scotland that a golden eagle was found poisoned on Invercauld Estate within the Cairngorms National Park. The CNPA condemns this senseless and irresponsible behaviour in the strongest possible terms. Raptor persecution has no place in 21st century Scotland and no place in this National Park. We are working closely with Police Scotland, NatureScot and a range of other partners on an appropriate, coordinated response to this incident, and will continue to work in partnership to prevent incidents like this occurring in future. We cannot make any further comment on this specific case due to the ongoing police enquiry.”

This statement is issued on behalf of Xander McDade CNPA Board Convener and CNPA Chief Executive Grant Moir.

ENDS

This statement from the CNPA is an improvement on the pathetic effort it made in response to the poisoned white-tailed eagle, found dead on a grouse moor inside the National Park last year (see here), and it’s good that this time the CNPA hasn’t had to be nudged into providing a response, which is what usually happens, but even so, this is nowhere near a strong enough reaction or statement of intent.

I’ll be returning to this subject shortly, but for now readers might want to familiarise themselves with the Eastern Cairngorms Moorland Partnership (ECMP). One of the stated aims of this ‘partnership’, comprising six contiguous estates and the CNPA, is to ‘enhance raptor and other priority species conservation’. Invercauld Estate is one of the member estates.

Things need to change in the Cairngorms National Park. Current policies and so-called ‘partnerships’ are obviously not working when atrocities like poisoning eagles is still going on.

Below is a list of all the known raptor persecution crimes uncovered in the Cairngorms National Park since it was established (it was formally established in Sept 2003 but I’ve included 2002 for context and an indication that National Park status has had zero influence). As far as I’m aware, nobody has been prosecuted, yet alone convicted, for any of these offences, with the exception of one for the attempted shooting of a hen harrier in 2003.

ILLEGAL RAPTOR PERSECUTION INCIDENTS CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK

2002

Feb: 2 x poisoned buzzards (Carbofuran) + rabbit bait. Tomintoul (No prosecution)

Mar: 2 x poisoned buzzards (Carbofuran) + 2 rabbit baits. Cromdale (No prosecution)

2003

Apr: 3 x poisoned buzzards (Carbofuran) + 2 grey partridge baits. Kingussie (No prosecution)

Jun: Attempted shooting of a hen harrier. Crannoch (Successful prosecution)

2004

May: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). Cuaich (No prosecution)

Nov: 1 x poisoned red kite (Carbofuran). Cromdale (No prosecution)

Dec: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). Cromdale (No prosecution)

2005

Feb: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). Cromdale (No prosecution)

Feb: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). Cromdale (No prosecution)

Mar: 3 x poisoned buzzards, 1 x poisoned raven (Carbofuran). Crathie (No prosecution)

2006

Jan: 1 x poisoned raven (Carbofuran). Dulnain Bridge (No prosecution)

May: 1 x poisoned raven (Mevinphos). Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

May: 1 x poisoned golden eagle (Carbofuran). Morven [corbett] (No prosecution)

May: 1 x poisoned raven + 1 x poisoned common gull (Aldicarb) + egg bait. Glenbuchat (No prosecution)

May: egg bait (Aldicarb). Glenbuchat, Strathdon (No prosecution)

Jun: 1 x poisoned golden eagle (Carbofuran). Glenfeshie (No prosecution)

2007

Jan: 1 x poisoned red kite (Carbofuran). Glenshee (No prosecution)

Apr: Illegally set spring trap. Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

May: Pole trap. Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

May: 1 x poisoned red kite (Carbofuran). Tomintoul (No prosecution)

May: Illegally set spring trap. Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

Jun: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) + rabbit & hare baits. Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

Jun: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) + rabbit bait. Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

Jul: 1 x poisoned raven (Carbofuran). Ballater (No prosecution)

Sep: 1 x shot buzzard. Newtonmore (No prosecution)

Sep: 1 x shot buzzard. Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

Dec: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Alphachloralose). Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

Dec: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) + rabbit bait. Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

2008

Jan: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Alphachloralose). Nr Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

Mar: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran). Nr Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

Dec: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Alphachloralose). Nr Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

2009

May: 2 x poisoned ravens (Mevinphos). Delnabo (No prosecution)

Jun: rabbit bait (Mevinphos). nr Tomintoul (No prosecution)

Jun: 1 x shot buzzard. Nr Strathdon (No prosecution)

Jun: 1 x illegal crow trap. Nr Tomintoul (No prosecution)

2010

Apr: Pole trap. Nr Dalwhinnie (No prosecution)

Jun: 1 x pole-trapped goshawk. Nr Dalwhinnie (No prosecution)

Jun: Illegally set spring trap on tree stump. Nr Dalwhinnie (No prosecution)

Sep: 2 x poisoned buzzards (Carbofuran) + rabbit bait. Glenlochy (No prosecution)

Oct: 2 x poisoned buzzards (Carbofuran) + rabbit bait. Nr Boat of Garten (No prosecution)

2011

Jan: 1 x shot buzzard. Nr Bridge of Brown (No prosecution)

Mar: 1 x poisoned golden eagle (Carbofuran). Glenbuchat (No prosecution)

Apr: 1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran & Aldicarb). Nr Bridge of Brown (No prosecution)

May:  1 x poisoned buzzard (Carbofuran) + rabbit bait. Glenbuchat, Strathdon (No prosecution)

May: 1 x shot short-eared owl, found stuffed under rock. Glenbuchat, Strathdon (No prosecution)

Jun: 1 x shot peregrine. Pass of Ballater (No prosecution)

Aug: grouse bait (Aldicarb). Glenlochy (No prosecution)

Sep: Satellite-tagged golden eagle ‘disappears’. Nr Strathdon

Nov: Satellite-tagged golden eagle ‘disappears’. Nr Strathdon

2012

Apr: 1 x shot short-eared owl. Nr Grantown-on-Spey (No prosecution)

Apr: Peregrine nest site burnt out. Glenshee (No prosecution)

May: Buzzard nest shot out. Nr Ballater (No prosecution)

2013

Jan: White-tailed eagle nest tree felled. Invermark (No prosecution)

May: 1 x shot hen harrier. Glen Gairn (No prosecution)

May: Satellite-tagged golden eagle ‘disappears’. Glenbuchat, Strathdon

2014

Apr: Satellite-tagged white-tailed eagle ‘disappears’. Glenbuchat, Strathdon

May: Armed masked men shoot out a goshawk nest. Glen Nochty, Nr Strathdon (No prosecution)

2015

Sep: Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Lad’ found dead, suspected shot. Newtonmore (No prosecution)

2016

May: 1 x shot goshawk. Strathdon (No prosecution)

Jun: Illegally set spring traps. Invercauld (No prosecution)

Aug: Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Brian’ ‘disappears’. Kingussie

2017

Mar: Satellite-tagged golden eagle #338 ‘disappears’. Glenbuchat, Strathdon

Aug: Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Calluna’ ‘disappears’. Ballater

2018

May: Satellite-tagged white-tailed eagle Blue T ‘disappears’. Ballater

Aug: Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Athena’ ‘disappears’. Nr Grantown on Spey

Aug: Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Margot’ ‘disappears’. Nr Strathdon

Sept: Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Stelmaria’ ‘disappears’. Ballater

2019

April: Satellite-tagged hen harrier ‘Marci’ ‘disappears’. Nr Strathdon

April: Four geese poisoned and Carbofuran bait found on an estate nr Kingussie (no prosecution)

August: Golden eagle photographed with a spring trap dangling from its foot, nr Crathie, Deeside

September: Satellite-tagged hen harrier Wildland 1 ‘disappears’ on a grouse moor nr Dalnaspidal

September: Satellite-tagged hen harrier Wildland 2 ‘disappears’ on a grouse moor at Invercauld

2020

April: Satellite-tagged hen harrier Hoolie ‘disappears’ on grouse moor nr Newtonmore

April: Satellite-tagged hen harrier Marlin ‘disappears’ on grouse moor nr Strathdon

April: Satellite-tagged white-tailed eagle found illegally poisoned on grouse moor in Strathdon.

2021

March: Poisoned golden eagle found on Invercauld Estate.

In addition to the above list, two recent scientific publications have documented the long-term decline of breeding peregrines on grouse moors in the eastern side of the National Park (see here) and the catastrophic decline of breeding hen harriers, also on grouse moors in the eastern side of the Park (see here).


19 Responses to “Poisoned golden eagle: statement from Cairngorms National Park Authority”


  1. May 6, 2021 at 11:00 am

    The evilness continues!!! People must know who did this. Stores of illegal poisons must abound!!! I suppose an amnesty like with guns is out of the question re handing in of poison?

  2. 4 sog
    May 6, 2021 at 11:02 am

    I think people might compare the ECMP with the Cairngorms Connect organisation.

    Which latter team one hopes the Mar Lodge estate may eventually join.

  3. 5 EricH
    May 6, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Assuming the authorities were searching in the right place, and since the eagle was found on 21st March, the perpetrators have had plenty of time to remove all evidence. Secondly can’t the police access phone location data, as to who was in the area? Perhaps if gamekeepers were tagged like raptors, we could demonstrate how accurate the tags are, though I be the gamekeeper won’t suddenly start disappearing on grouse moors unlike raptors.

  4. 6 Simon Tucker
    May 6, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Surely the headline should be “The Cairngorms National Park Authority issues its usual platitudes after yet another poisoning incident in a notorious area and resolves not to do a damned thing about it!?

    • 7 Alister J Clunas
      May 6, 2021 at 1:45 pm

      I would like to see Cairngorms National Park Authority (CGNPA) refuse to give grants to estates that have been convicted of wildlife crimes and not promote in its literature, holiday cottages and other commercial activities of these estates. This would send a clear message to estates undertaking illegal activities that CGNPA will not be fund enterprises that rely on illegal activities.

  5. 8 Yorkshire pudding
    May 6, 2021 at 11:59 am

    When they say they are working closely with the police and nature scotland what exactly does that mean other than pacifying waffle. What exactly are they doing to combat raptor crime?

  6. 9 Frances Hurle
    May 6, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    it is clear the names of the same places appear time after time. You don’t need to be Einstein to deduce that the perpetrators are committing these crimes frequently in certain areas. I should have thought the police should be able to make enquiries of a small number of people in these very rural communities. Most of these areas consist of country estates, so the numbers of potential offenders cannot be large. How do they still possess Carborfuren? Are these old stocks, or are they acquiring it still, may be on the black market? In view of the technology available these days it would seem likely that the satellite tags could be adapted to show the location where the last signal came from and where the bird is. Could the raptors be microchipped?

    The overall impression I get is that the perpetrators are free to kill and very little is done to prevent it, or bring those responsible to justice.

    • 10 Keith Dancey
      May 6, 2021 at 7:41 pm

      “How do they still possess Carborfuren?”

      Carbofuran.

      [Ed: Thanks, Keith. I’m not going to publicise that, for obvious reasons]

  7. May 6, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Clearly you can put out poisoned bait and kill whatever you fancy, with not a hope in hell anyone will bother to try and catch you. This is a FARCE.

  8. 12 Paul Fisher
    May 6, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    So please can somebody from the CNPA explain to me why I should spend my tourist buck in your region as opposed to the west coast where there is a lot less persecution. Please also tell me who funds you and who you are working for.

  9. 13 Jimmy
    May 6, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    Our national parks are an international joke at this stage when it comes to wildlife crime

    • 14 Yorkshire pudding
      May 6, 2021 at 7:59 pm

      Our whole country is a joke when it comes to wildlife crime

      • 15 Keith Dancey
        May 6, 2021 at 8:12 pm

        I don’t agree with that. The Italian regional governments have just licensed the slaughter of up to 7.5 million Turtle Doves this autumn….

        We have a particularly severe problem with wildlife crimes associated with the shooting industry, an industry strongly associated with our Royal Family.


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