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Thanks to overwhelming opposition from the public, organisations such as the RSPB and our fantastic members, the Wildlife Minister - Richard Benyon - has dropped plans to take wild buzzards into captivitty and detroy nests around shooting areas!
If you needed any proof that your campaigning makes a real difference to wildlife, here it is.
Thank you so much to everyone who Stepped Up and contacted their MP about this issue. Next time you see a buzzard you can say 'I helped to save you'.
Visit www.rspb.org.uk/freistonshore or call 01205 724 678 for more information and to book. It's going to be great!
We had our reserve annual review yesterday, with staff from HQ (Bedfordshire), regional office (Norwich) and of course here. We lost our ecologist Graham for a while as he dived off into the 360 hide to see a Temminck's stint. We do seem to have done well for this diminutive little wader in the past few years with sightings of up to eight birds. Temminck's stint breeds across Scandinavia eastwards and one or two even nest in Scotland (well two at least I guess - it does take two to tango after all), but they aren't seen on migration very easily in Britain.
Temminck was a Dutch aristocrat and zoologist in the 18th & 19th centuries. He was quite an explorer/naturalist with 16 bird species and lots of other animals named after him in English or Latin. My favourites are kissing gourami Helostoma temminckii and Temminck's flying squirrel (was it a flying squirrel before or after Temminck shot it?!). Few of the species he described are well known, so presumably he had a good eye and aim for the obscure, of course in his day animals were identified in the hand after having been shot.
We do pretty well here for Temminck's stints because we've created some nice large shallow freshwater areas (the Scrapes) for them to feed in. These have encouraged Temminck's stints and other waders to stop in and refuel during their migrations from Africa to Scandinavia. Temminck's stint is about the size of a sparrow and unlike the more familiar little stint has yellow/green legs, so why not see if you can follow in our ecologist's and a Dutch aristocrat's footsteps and find one here at Frampton?
The Government organisation Defra has recently announced that, due to pressure from the pheasant shooting industry, they plan to invest £400,000 in destroying buzzard nests and capturing adult birds. These wild birds will then be kept in captivity.
Martin Harper, Conservation Director for the RSPB, has put the nonsense of this plan into a few crucial facts:
- An independent report by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) found than 1-2% of the 40 million non-native game birds released each year are taken by birds of prey (and that’s all birds of prey, not just buzzards). For comparison, more than 7% are run over on the road.
- There are plenty of ways of reducing the number of game birds taken by buzzards that are both more effective and more humane, e.g. more vegetation cover for captive-bred birds, birds-scarers and diversionary feeding.
- There is a great deal of evidence to show that another buzzard will fill the place of any that is killed or taken, so capturing buzzards to prevent them killing pheasants won’t work anyway.
- Buzzards are a native species whose numbers have only recently begun to recover from persecution over the last two centuries. Pheasants, on the other hand, are bred purely for sport and industry.
Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
I for one am outraged that my taxes are to be spent on further persecution of this wonderful bird. I will be writing to my MP to urge them to oppose this measure in parliament.
Please, please do the same and make sure Nature’s Voice is not drowned out by the calls of those wishing to persecute wildlife for their own gains.
You can find out how to contact your MP here
See what Martin Harper has to say on the subject and get some ideas of what to put in your letter here.
Thank you for Stepping Up For Nature.