birdlife volunteers

Court orders police investigation into bird charity

Intense lobbying by a hunting group in Malta has led to the magistrates court ordering police to investigate international wild bird charity Birdlife. The case involves Birdlife volunteers who handled protected species after rescuing them. Police had previously investigated the case and dropped the investigation quickly. In October 2012 6 volunteers from Birdlife were photographed…
lee yafano

UK courts give conditional discharge to trader of endangered species

Teeside Crown Court  has given a taxidermist who traded illegally in endangered bird species a conditional discharge and a £300 fine. Lee Yafano, 41 years of Glenfield Drive, Middlesbrough, traded stuffed birds of prey on ebay and claimed that the items came with the required permits. Officers from the National Wildlife Crimes Unit and Cleveland…
gannets

Gannets spot easy pickings from 11km away

The impact of trawlers and their waste on seabird populations appear to be much larger than previously thought. A study by the University of Exeter highlights that the ‘footprint’ of a trawler is as large as 11km radius. This footprint influences the foraging behaviour of seabirds as they now associate trawlers with easy-pickings. Using GPS…
albatros

$200 to reduce albatross deaths by 95%

A $200 device that can be fitted to trawlers has been demonstrated to reduce albatross by-catch deaths by 95% and scientists are now calling for the devices to be made mandatory. The bird scarring lines also reduce by-catch deaths of other birds by between 73% and 95% during the winter months. A research paper published…
tom burford

Suspended sentence for falconer guilty of cruelty

The former manager of Barn at Beal’s bird of prey centre near Berwick has been sentenced to nine weeks suspended prison sentence, 150 hours of community service and banned from owning birds for 10 years.  Thomas Burford, 22, was found guilty of sustained cruelty of birds in his care by Newcastle magistrates. Burford took over…
elephant 01

Investigating Asia’s biggest animal fair

Gajendra Moksha, also called The Liberation of Gajendra, is a Puranic legend from the 8th Skandha of Bhagavad Purana, one of the most sacred books in Hinduism. It is one of the famous exploits of Lord Vishnu wherein Lord Vishnu came down to earth to protect Gajendra, the Elephant, from the clutches of Makara, the…
eygptian vulture

Vultures under threat – Europe ignores Asian lessons

Europe has failed to take notice of the Asian experience with the cattle drug Diclofenac as it becomes more widely available on the continent. Used to treat animals for inflammation and other diseases vultures are unable to break down the chemical and die from renal failure. The impact of the drug was quick and devastating…
goldfinch

National Wildlife Crime Unit issues alert to bird owners

The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit has issued an alert to bird owners and breeders of an increase in thefts of canaries, finches and Budgerigars. Breeders and bird exhibitors in the Midlands and the South of England are being targeted by criminal gangs looking for easy pickings. Wildlife crime offers high rewards with minimum risks…
Gregory Peter Wheal

The price of repeated wildlife crime in Britain – £200

Britain’s most convicted bird egg collector has appeared in court for the 10th time for keeping protected wild bird eggs. The sentence handed out by magistrates was a £200 fine and £300 in costs. Yet again British magistrates have chosen to ignore the on-going threat to wildlife and the impact of wildlife crime on wild species.…
wheatear

Scotland prepares for natures homecoming

Wildlife experts are hoping for a record number of birds, insects, mammals and fish species to return to their spring home in Dumfries & Galloway this year. And to celebrate Homecoming Scotland 2014, the region’s Wild Spring Festival (taking place from 5 April to 5 May) is offering over 100 family-friendly events where participants could…
bird feeder

Keep calm and carry on…. feeding the birds

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has revealed that they are taking increasing numbers of telephone calls from the public concerned that no birds are coming to their feeders. RSPB experts though say don’t panic and carry on putting out small amounts of food. With such a good natural harvest this year…
yellowhammer

Conservation Grade beats Organic for helping birds

Shoppers who want to help farmland birds when buying their Christmas vegetables this year should look out for Conservation Grade produce rather than organic. A new study by University of Southampton has shown that farms awarded Conservation Grade status are better for farmland birds than fully organic farms. The study shows that threatened farmland birds…
lough neagh

Bird numbers crash at Lough Neagh due to greener agriculture

Britain and Ireland’s largest freshwater lake, Lough Neagh has seen over-wintering bird numbers crash by more that 75% over the last 10 years. Ironically one of the main reasons for the crash is farm conservation measures to protect water quality. The result is that the productivity of Lough Neagh has dropped to more normal and historic levels resulting in less…
Andrew McManus-Dunkley

British magistrates fail birds of prey

North Somerset Magistrates Court have failed to protect endangered birds of prey by failing to deliver an adequate sentence to a falconer who was involved in the illegal trade in birds. Magistrates sentenced Andrew McManus-Dunkley, owner of the Banwell Falconry in Smallway to just 200 hours community work, a 6 week curfew and £1,000 fine. McManus-Dunkley was found…
Miranda Krestovnikoff is the new president of the RSPB.

New president for RSPB

Miranda Krestovnikoff has replaced Kate Humble as president of the RSPB. Miranda will lead Europe’s largest conservation charity as Kate Humble’s 4 year term comes to a close. She was elected president yesterday at the RSPB’s AGM in London. Krestovnikoff studied zoology at Bristol University and has become a household name after presenting on a number of BBC programmes. She…