Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

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reohn2
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby reohn2 » 16 Mar 2019, 9:52pm

landsurfer wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Ever seen what man does for 'sport'?


Yes ... Cycle .... :D

They have many other sports not as benign as cycling :wink:
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

kwackers
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby kwackers » 16 Mar 2019, 9:57pm

Ben@Forest wrote:You could say it's wrong, but in the altered world we have created it is likely that if the RSPB didn't do it we could see the extirpation of the curlew.

How long have these species lived with their predators? 10 years, 100, 1000 - or more likely tens of millions.

To blame their demise on predation is to ignore the real issues.
Perhaps removing their predators will work as a temporary fix but almost every threatened species is threatened due to the activity of one particular animal.
Pretty much every study I've ever seen talking about prey / predator imbalances points the finger back at us.
Fortunately there are some folk who finally seem to 'get' it and there's some movement in the right direction but for many species it's simply too late.

I'm also minded to think that if a species dies out it dies out.
We're creating a new world and expecting the old one to somehow fit but that requires more and more management from us.
Why not just accept the world has changed and allow nature to do it's stuff and sort out a new balance?
Likely it'll be a bit rich in "pests", squirrels, foxes, rabbits, rats, mice, pigeons etc but it should become self balancing.

Ben@Forest
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Ben@Forest » 16 Mar 2019, 10:22pm

kwackers wrote:
Ben@Forest wrote:You could say it's wrong, but in the altered world we have created it is likely that if the RSPB didn't do it we could see the extirpation of the curlew.

How long have these species lived with their predators? 10 years, 100, 1000 - or more likely tens of millions.

To blame their demise on predation is to ignore the real issues.
Perhaps removing their predators will work as a temporary fix but almost every threatened species is threatened due to the activity of one particular animal.


That's exactly what I said, 'the altered world we have created'.

We're creating a new world and expecting the old one to somehow fit but that requires more and more management from us.
Why not just accept the world has changed and allow nature to do it's stuff and sort out a new balance?
Likely it'll be a bit rich in "pests", squirrels, foxes, rabbits, rats, mice, pigeons etc but it should become self balancing.


Always a possibility but that means everything from elephants downwards.

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Cugel
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Cugel » 16 Mar 2019, 10:33pm

Ben@Forest wrote:I wonder therefore if Chris Packham et al are going to challenge the RSPB too:

Lethal control of predators is therefore a pragmatic solution to reducing predation pressure. This is not a solution that RSPB accepts lightly (see this recent blog from our Conservation Director), but for conserving a rapidly-declining species such as the curlew, which is known to be adversely affected by predation, the case is a strong one. Which predators should be targeted and how much effort should be put into reducing their impact on curlew, without seeking to eradicate them or impact adversely on their own population status? Collating evidence from a range of sources on i) effects on breeding curlew, and ii) which species can be most effectively controlled through legal culling, highlights foxes and also hooded and carrion crows as priorities for control.

This control is currently being practised through shooting and through the use of Larsen traps. You could say it's wrong, but in the altered world we have created it is likely that if the RSPB didn't do it we could see the extirpation of the curlew.


I feel that the RSPB, like the RSPCA, The World Wildlife Fund and other organisations of that ilk have become large bureaucracies staffed and run by people who are politic at preserving their organisation and the large amounts of dosh they enjoy. To do so they make themselves acceptable to the larger forces in society, including the forces of farming, sports shooting and various other human activities that would like to eliminate all "pests", "weeds" and other life they see as harming their profits and nasty pleasures.

There is no credible evidence for "managing" nature that indicates it improves matters, for either humans or the other beasts. In fact, such "management" is notorious for generating vast and very harmful side-effects. Just now we are seeing the elimination of whole species by human "management" of the biosphere at an extinction rate possibly greater than even that of one of the Great Extinction Events of the Earth's past history.

Many of the "reasons" for having culls are not based in any meaningful or resilient kind of science but in a set of hoary old prejudices, often found in the sort of people who populate the so-called Countryside Alliance. These people are generally possessed by unpleasant motives which seem an admixture of sadism, love of money and a feeling of status from being dominant over nature. Nasty, they are. Lethally nasty.

Cugel

Ben@Forest
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Ben@Forest » 16 Mar 2019, 10:56pm

Cugel wrote:I feel that the RSPB, like the RSPCA, The World Wildlife Fund and other organisations of that ilk have become large bureaucracies staffed and run by people who are politic at preserving their organisation and the large amounts of dosh they enjoy. To do so they make themselves acceptable to the larger forces in society, including the forces of farming, sports shooting and various other human activities that would like to eliminate all "pests", "weeds" and other life they see as harming their profits and nasty pleasures.

There is no credible evidence for "managing" nature that indicates it improves matters, for either humans or the other beasts. In fact, such "management" is notorious for generating vast and very harmful side-effects. Just now we are seeing the elimination of whole species by human "management" of the biosphere at an extinction rate possibly greater than even that of one of the Great Extinction Events of the Earth's past history.

Many of the "reasons" for having culls are not based in any meaningful or resilient kind of science but in a set of hoary old prejudices, often found in the sort of people who populate the so-called Countryside Alliance. These people are generally possessed by unpleasant motives which seem an admixture of sadism, love of money and a feeling of status from being dominant over nature. Nasty, they are. Lethally nasty.

Cugel


There are so many points there you could start four new threads. But I'd just say one thing. A bloke who is part of a small shooting syndicate wants to preserve some woodland and grassland and moorland. He doesn't want a football pitch, or bowling alley or even a velodrome built as part of his recreation. And building all of those things are more damaging to the environment than preserving some of it for rough shooting, even if pheasants are released into it.

I don't shoot and have no particular interest in it. But I do work with farmers and landowners, many of whom have an excellent appreciation for the land and know far more about the decent management of it than 90% of the public. So excuse me if I would be more likely to listen to their opinions with some interest and knowing I might pick up some useful pointers.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Tangled Metal » 16 Mar 2019, 11:35pm

Listen to Cugel he knows a lot. If he says RSPB is wrong well...

Personally I like corvids. Had a raven fly a metre above me as it glided down the grassy slope on scafell (not the pike but the smaller neighbour that has nice slope on the other side). It was so close I could see individual feathers and hear the sound the wind blowing over the wind made.

Another time I sat for almost 10 minutes watching 5 paragliders fly around the crinkle crags. A gang of 3 ravens took off from the crags and showed the paragliders what real flyers can do. The sight of a raven flying upside down under a paraglider or another one taking a close look at the wing flying through the cords holding the pilot to the wing.

Then again the lunch stop where a raven came a begging. Coming a metre and half from us. We'd talk to it and it called back. Performing for a bit of cast off butties.

As much as I like these birds I don't think they're above being subjected to a cull if it's needed. If human Intervention created a problem with a certain species such that its inbalance is causing the extinction of another species then I would want the relevant organisations to affect the inbalance such that the vulnerable species can survive. Its hope the actions are as minimal as needed to work.

As to farm animal mutilation / predation by corvids then I really don't know enough. I do know farmers will make up their mind about what's killed a lamb. They're not always right. However I have no doubt at all that large corvids hunt as much as scavenge. I once saw a study that said crows and ravens hunted a higher proportion of their food intake than a lot of birds of prey.

Ben@Forest
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Ben@Forest » 17 Mar 2019, 6:33am

Tangled Metal wrote:Listen to Cugel he knows a lot. If he says RSPB is wrong well...


His last post suggests that the wildlife and animal welfare charities in this country are only in it for the money. That we should stop managing the countryside (great - hope everyone is sorted for bread). And that most people who hunt, shoot or fish are sadists. Anyone on here who buys chicken should also fall into that category.

You can make philosophical arguments for all if the above. And he is a bit of a philosopher. Walden A Life in the Woods - might be our model for existence - remember to leave that carbon fibre bike back in the 21st century!

brynpoeth
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Re: Challenge to Natural Wales Killing of Wild Birds

Postby brynpoeth » 17 Mar 2019, 7:29am

Marginal changes, the lambs could be kept inside longer, what could be done to make places less attractive for the birds?

In nature populations of creatures fluctuate a lot, that is normal

Ian Mitchell wrote 'Isles of the West', describes how the nature lobby has a lot of power

The rspb for example is a large business with well-paid executives, like the ctc I guess :?
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Cugel
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Cugel » 17 Mar 2019, 8:35am

Ben@Forest wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:Listen to Cugel he knows a lot. If he says RSPB is wrong well...


His last post suggests that the wildlife and animal welfare charities in this country are only in it for the money. That we should stop managing the countryside (great - hope everyone is sorted for bread). And that most people who hunt, shoot or fish are sadists. Anyone on here who buys chicken should also fall into that category.

You can make philosophical arguments for all if the above. And he is a bit of a philosopher. Walden A Life in the Woods - might be our model for existence - remember to leave that carbon fibre bike back in the 21st century!


My post indicated only that large charitable organisations, including those focused on animal welfare or protection, are politic in realisng (and meeting some of) the demands of large social forces and organisations other than those who commission them to perform protective actions. I didn't suggest that they're only in it for the money but that their requirement to survive and prosper means that they compromise when demands are made of them to act in a fashion against that of their putative purpose.

Nor did I suggest that everyone who shoots, hunts or fishes is a sadist but only that there is a sizeable and vocal proportion of them who are. It's one thing to hunt for food and another to hunt for "sport". Hunting for "sport" is hard to explain other than as an act driven by the less benign aspects of our human nature. I have an ambition to hunt myself, to eat. I won't find it pleasurable, just more honest. Sports hunters tend to revel in the pleasures of the kill, since that's their primary motive for shooting; and they will often kill in fashions that are cruel and nasty.

It's typical human hubris to imagine that we are so superior, intelligent, rational and otherwise clever that we can "manage the countryside", as you put it, in a fashion that's somehow good for it and all it's inhabitants. You only need to look at the history of such management - and the current state of the planet - to see that human management is rife with error, stupidity, damaging greedy practices and hoary old prejudices employed to justify often hidden motives.

This doesn't mean that there aren't good practices for "managing the countryside" compared to much worse practices. But a huge number of "countryside management" practices are undeniably damaging and geared to the narrow desires of one group or another that wishes to exploit, as it's style of "management"; and doesn't care about the deleterious side effects.

Farming, sports-shooting, golfing, fishing and several other narrow concerns are guilty of degrading the resource they manage in order to maximise their pleasure or profit. Forestry is not exempt from such practices, as you well-know.

Often the best form of management is to let nature take it's course - to stop imagining that we are so clever as to be able to understand and re-arrange nature to be somehow better. Management becomes more a case of enabling nature, not killing it. We are a long way down the opposite road from improving the planet and it's biosphere. We are "managing" to destroy it.

Murdering corvids, badgers, gulls, seals, moles and many other species on the pretense that we are improving something other than someone's profits or pleasures is rather a stretch, don't you think?

****
Meanwhile, where is the evidence that corvids do some sort of terrible damage, either to the rest of the natural world or even to some greedlet's profits? The hoary old prejudices often found amongst your "experts" who work in the countryside are so often also found to be based on zero evidence. Rather they are just pass-me-down made-up horror stories such as "have you seen what the evil black corvids do to the sweet little lambs" ilk oriented at justifying the dubious pleasures of killing things.

Cugel

Oldjohnw
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Oldjohnw » 17 Mar 2019, 9:18am

Natural England is not a charity. It is an arm's length Governmnt body and therefore does have political oversight.

The RSPB does not support shooting estates and us at the forefront of opposition to human predation. I speak as a long time member. They are not, of course, perfect. But their objectives are very varied on the invironment front, which is not promoting their interests but the interests of us all.

My niece is their Scottish Policy Officer and recently wrote this for the Scotsman:

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/why-pancakes-should-give-us-food-for-thought-anna-brand-1-4881019
John

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Bonefishblues
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Bonefishblues » 17 Mar 2019, 9:24am

Ben@Forest wrote:I wonder therefore if Chris Packham et al are going to challenge the RSPB too:

Lethal control of predators is therefore a pragmatic solution to reducing predation pressure. This is not a solution that RSPB accepts lightly (see this recent blog from our Conservation Director), but for conserving a rapidly-declining species such as the curlew, which is known to be adversely affected by predation, the case is a strong one. Which predators should be targeted and how much effort should be put into reducing their impact on curlew, without seeking to eradicate them or impact adversely on their own population status? Collating evidence from a range of sources on i) effects on breeding curlew, and ii) which species can be most effectively controlled through legal culling, highlights foxes and also hooded and carrion crows as priorities for control.

This control is currently being practised through shooting and through the use of Larsen traps. You could say it's wrong, but in the altered world we have created it is likely that if the RSPB didn't do it we could see the extirpation of the curlew.

Chris Packham was, and I expect still is, on the RSPB's Governing Council (I will have got the nomenclature wrong, but you see what i mean)

kwackers
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby kwackers » 17 Mar 2019, 10:01am

Human management is often anything but, cugel has it right. It's self interest, politics and dodgy science at best.

Poisoning birds of prey not because they eat all the grouse but someone thinks they do. Bludgeoning baby seals because "they're eating all the fish".
Killing hedgehogs because they're "eating all the baby birds".
You simply end up pitting one self interest group against another with no real solution other than infighting, bickering and the mass killing of a species trying to cut a living.

The whole sorry mess is an endless list of poor assumptions, bad science, misconceptions and general idiocy.

It's not as if it's even that easy to predict how an eco system works. Often it turns out that 'wilding' an area results in lower bio-diversity not more.
The thing that generally does seem to work is large herbivores free to roam and apex predators free to kill them. Pretty much everywhere that occurs ends up back in balance.
Not sure how much of a hit it'll be in blightly though.

mercalia
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby mercalia » 17 Mar 2019, 12:35pm

kwackers wrote:Human management is often anything but, cugel has it right. It's self interest, politics and dodgy science at best.

Poisoning birds of prey not because they eat all the grouse but someone thinks they do. Bludgeoning baby seals because "they're eating all the fish".
Killing hedgehogs because they're "eating all the baby birds".
You simply end up pitting one self interest group against another with no real solution other than infighting, bickering and the mass killing of a species trying to cut a living.

The whole sorry mess is an endless list of poor assumptions, bad science, misconceptions and general idiocy.

It's not as if it's even that easy to predict how an eco system works. Often it turns out that 'wilding' an area results in lower bio-diversity not more.
The thing that generally does seem to work is large herbivores free to roam and apex predators free to kill them. Pretty much everywhere that occurs ends up back in balance.
Not sure how much of a hit it'll be in blightly though.


bring back the wolves?

kwackers
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby kwackers » 17 Mar 2019, 12:51pm

mercalia wrote:bring back the wolves?

They'd keep deer numbers down without having to employ people to shoot them (and various other 'pests' at the same time).

There's some interesting research on bringing back apex predators - although in fairness most of it is in areas big enough to support them. Not sure how much would be applicable to the UK. I suspect sheep are easier prey than deer...

Bonefishblues
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Re: Challenge to Natural England Killing of Wild Birds

Postby Bonefishblues » 17 Mar 2019, 1:07pm

kwackers wrote:
mercalia wrote:bring back the wolves?

They'd keep deer numbers down without having to employ people to shoot them (and various other 'pests' at the same time).

There's some interesting research on bringing back apex predators - although in fairness most of it is in areas big enough to support them. Not sure how much would be applicable to the UK. I suspect sheep are easier prey than deer...

There is, but as you say, in much much bigger environments than we have to offer. The whole reason they disappeared is because it was relatively easy for man to do so in our little island, I think.

Here's one:
https://youtu.be/ysa5OBhXz-Q