Scottish Land & Estates, which is a partner in the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime Scotland (PAWS), today welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s annual bird of prey crime map which has identified a significant reduction on all types of bird of prey crime during 2016.
Douglas McAdam, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “As a committed member of the partnership working to eradicate all forms of wildlife crime, we are very pleased and encouraged by the further reduction in incidents.
“Poisoning incidents are down to four recorded cases. Overall incidents have dropped from 19 to 14 in the last year, a 26% reduction and now at the lowest level since data on all types of incident was first published in 2013. This is encouraging news and demonstrates the value of people working together on the ground and raising awareness of the issue. There is still work to do to eradicate this problem and the evidence points to measures that have been put in place having the desired effect.
“Scotland has one of the toughest legislative regimes around bird of prey crime, some of it introduced quite recently. These figures clearly show that it is playing a significant part in reducing bird of prey crime, even though proposed new penalties for wildlife crime generally are not yet introduced. That should help deliver a further fall in raptor crime and needs to be given time to work.
“The land management sector recognises that some of the incidents may have been related to game shooting interests and is committed to keep working to bring those figures down even further in future.
“We strongly endorse the careful use of proven police evidence in drawing up these maps and although there is limited information about some incidents, the range of species and locations indicates that the motivation behind these crimes is varied.
“We condemn any form of raptor crime and are active partners in projects such as Heads Up for Harriers and the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project which are working to bring back at-risk bird species in areas where their populations have declined.”