BY MARK BIRD
Recently Mark Avery of Lottery-funded Wild Justice alongside the RSPB lost an appeal against Natural England’s “brood meddling scheme” with regards to the Hen Harrier.
Translocation a.k.a “brood meddling” is widely used by conservation bodies to bolster the genetic diversity of isolated populations or to reintroduce a species to its historical range.
The RSPB have blocked a reintroduction scheme for the Hen Harrier to southern Britain.
This bird has become a pawn in their game to end the driven grouse industry and should they succeed the collateral damage will not only be the loss of our last thriving breeding wader populations but also the Hen Harrier itself.
The Hen Harrier, once widespread in lowland Britain, does not travel far from where it is bred, it thrives on managed moorland, prey is abundant and predators are controlled and thus populations can expand rapidly. This can lead to conflict. Conflict is best avoided so what is wrong with moving surplus individuals to areas they once inhabited?
Shame on Mr Avery and the RSPB for their efforts to stop this beautiful bird once again gracing the skies of lowland Britain. They should not pretend they are working to conserve the Hen Harrier. Only on Wednesday Mark Avery gleefully announced that Argaty Red Kites have been granted a beaver translocation licence and below is a list of some of the UK species that have benefited from “brood meddling schemes” many of which have been funded by the RSPB and supported by the likes of Wild Justice.
Cranes, White Storks, Sea Eagles, Golden Eagles, Red Kites, Great Bustard, Curlew, Cirl Bunting, Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Beavers, Otters, Pine Martens, Red Squirrels, Water Voles, Scottish Wildcats, Greater Horseshoe Bats, Sand Lizards, Smooth Snakes, Natterjack Toads, Large Blue Butterfly, Raft Spiders.
Hypocrisy or what?
Mark Bird is a Countryman and Naturalist.