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26% drop in recorded bird of prey offences during 2016.
There was a 26% fall in recorded bird of prey crimes during 2016, according to the latest information.
Crime maps produced by the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW Scotland) show 14 confirmed bird of prey crimes compared to 19 the previous year.
Species illegally killed in 2016 incidents included buzzards and a goshawk, while the golden eagle and osprey were victims of disturbance cases. There were four recorded incidents of poisoning, four shootings, three cases of disturbance and three trapping or attempted trapping offences.
Confirmed poisoning incidents fell from six in 2015 to four last year. This is the second lowest number of recorded poisonings in a single year since PAW Scotland began publishing these maps in 2004.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“These latest maps from PAW Scotland demonstrate there has been a further reduction in recorded bird of prey crimes. While this is good news, there is still much work to be done.
“I have ordered a review of the data from satellite tagged birds of prey in an attempt to shed new light on the disappearance of a number of tagged birds.
“So while I welcome these figures today, my message remains clear: The illegal persecution of Scotland’s magnificent birds of prey must end.
“The National Wildlife Crime Unit, now based in Stirling, plays an important role in protecting our wildlife. I’m delighted to confirm a further year of funding to allow the unit to continue its important work and help protect all of our wildlife, including birds of prey.”
Specific details of three of the four bird of prey crimes recorded in 2016 are currently withheld for police operational reasons. It has therefore not been possible to include the locations of these incidents on the hotspot maps. The incidents are, however, included in the figures provided in the summary tables accompanying the maps. The maps and background data will be updated, where possible, in future publications.
PAW Scotland includes the police, land managers, conservationists and government agencies, working together to fight wildlife crime.