October 2007

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | UK Bird News | Bird News for United Kingdom 2007 |  October 2007

Positive action on raptor persecution

04 October 2007
The latest moves by the Scottish Government to combat wildlife crime will be announced today by Environment Minister Michael Russell.
Responding to indications that the Scottish Government is to ask today for 'a thematic inspection of arrangements for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime' by HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary and HM Inspector of Prosecution, Stuart Housden, Director, RSPB Scotland, said:
'RSPB Scotland is delighted at the attention the Government is giving this important issue and warmly welcomes this inspection into arrangements.
'It's shameful that wildlife crime remains such an issue in Scotland, and sadly, the figures suggest that the perpetrators of these serious crimes are not deterred by the current legislation or its enforcement.
'The illegal poisoning of birds of prey in particular is affecting the populations of some of our most magnificent birds. All wildlife crime damages Scotland's reputation and undermines efforts to boost wildlife tourism, one of our fastest growing industries.
'RSPB Scotland works constructively with the police and Procurators Fiscal to assist the investigation and prosecution of these crimes wherever possible. All too often, however, it is not possible to identify culprits, lay charges or secure convictions.
'We will be pleased to contribute evidence to this process based on our extensive experience, and look forward to the Inspectors' recommendations. We hope the Government will take these recommendations seriously and make resources available to ensure that persecution is stamped out in future.
'However we can only eliminate the problem by changing attitudes and we look to land managers to lead by setting an example, making it clear that they will not tolerate law breaking by their estate staff. To this end I welcome the statements recently made by estate owners that they recognise their responsibilities in this area.'

New working agreement signed by SNH and RSPB Scotland

2nd October 2007
A new working practice between Scottish Natural Heritage and RSPB Scotland will provide fresh benefits locally as well as promoting improved joint working at national level between the two organisations.
A statement of intent has been signed by both, meaning less time will be spent on administration and more time devoted to delivering projects on the ground to benefit Scotland’s wildlife and its enjoyment.
At its heart is a network of local framework delivery agreements. A successful local framework grant pilot scheme in Argyll and Stirling has resulted in further grants being awarded to cover RSPB Scotland activity in Grampian, Highland, Tayside and Fife, and the Northern and Western Isles.
The local framework system has significantly reduced the total number of individual grant applications which SNH processes for RSPB annually, helping save valuable office staff hours for both organisations.
These grants from SNH – worth £237,000 over three years – help focus on the role which RSPB Scotland can play in delivering SNH key priorities such as meeting the 2010 target of having 95% of SSSI features in favourable condition and, under its approved body status, managing and improving the condition of habitats and access opportunities to National Nature Reserves (NNRs) such as Abernethy and Forsinard, to agreed national standards.
The statement of intent was signed by Stuart Housden, RSPB Scotland Director, and Susan Davies, SNH’s Director of Operations for the North of Scotland, at the SNH office in Battleby, near Perth.
Stuart Housden said: 'I welcome this arrangement which will harness the energy and dynamism of RSPB Scotland in assisting SNH and the Scottish Government deliver on their conservation responsibilities, whilst at the same time allowing us to invest more on the ground where it matters. This will build on the success we have already achieved together for species like corncrakes, sea eagles and great yellow bumblebees, and help us do more to bring the wealth of wildlife found in Scotland to residents and visitors alike. I am especially pleased that we will be able to give more young Scots the opportunity to see for themselves what the countryside has to offer through our field teaching programmes.'
Susan Davies confirmed after the signing: 'Both organisations have common objectives and the statement of intent provides a base which allows us to work more closely together for the benefit of our natural heritage, and for the local communities and businesses which rely on the high quality of Scotland’s environment. It sets out our common aspirations for ensuring that Scotland’s wildlife is accessible and can be enjoyed by all.'
SNH and RSPB Scotland also work together for a range of species other than birds, including nine of the 11 non-avian species for which the RSPB is lead UK Biodiversity Action Plan partner that occur wholly or mainly in Scotland.
The Species Action Framework sets out priorities for the conservation and management of priority species in Scotland, building on government commitments to biodiversity arising from the Convention on Biological Diversity, and major research studies like the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. RSPB Scotland will play a major role in taking action for a range of species within the Framework.

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | UK Bird News | Bird News for United Kingdom 2007 |  October 2007

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