Mapping bird of prey poisoning

14th March 2012
Mapping bird of prey poisoning – The Scottish Government
Locations of bird of prey poisoning incidents in Scotland in 2011 are revealed in the latest ‘hotspot map’, which is published today.
The maps published by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) outline the number and general location of confirmed illegal poisonings in 2011, and cumulative figures for 2007 to 2011. A total of 10 poisoning incidents were recorded in 2011 resulting in 16 dead birds of prey including 7 buzzards, four red kites and a golden eagle. This compares to 22 incidents and 28 birds of prey poisoned in 2010.
Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said:
“This is the fourth year we have published these maps and I very much welcome the reduction in poisoning numbers. I hope this proves to be the beginning of a continuing reduction in such cases, leading to the end of this outdated, dangerous and cruel practice.
“Birds of prey are a key part of our ecosystems and a magnificent spectacle in our countryside. They are valued by locals and visitors alike.
“However a small minority continues to persecute them for their own selfish ends. I hope we are beginning to see a change in attitude. In the meantime we will continue to work with our partners in PAW Scotland to tackle poisoning and other forms of wildlife crime.”
Duncan Orr-Ewing, Head of Species and Land Management for RSPB Scotland, said:
“We hope that this is the start of a downward trend in illegal poisoning in Scotland, which in time should also be reflected in an increase in the populations and ranges of some of our most vulnerable species, including golden eagles, hen harriers and red kites.
“The annual PAWS maps highlighting the hotspots for the illegal poisoning of birds of prey in Scotland, are now one of the key tools used for targeting the enforcement resources at the right places. At the same time, this targeted approach also protects the reputation of the many responsible land managers in Scotland, who do not tolerate crimes against birds of prey on their land. We commend the work of Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, and Scottish Government, who are working with RSPB Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates, and other PAWS partners, to tackle wildlife crime in all its forms.”