Advice

Advice

Reporting incidents of potential wildlife crime

As birders, birdwatchers, walkers or simply folk who enjoy being in the countryside, there may be occasions whilst you’re out and about that you stumble across something that doesn’t seem/feel quite right.

This might include coming across a freshly dead bird of prey, a rabbit lying on a tree stump, a Buzzard in a “cage” on a moor, a spring trap on a post or out in the open, hens eggs lying on a hillside……

There may be a perfectly innocent explanation for what you’ve found, however you may just have stumbled across the scene of a potential wildlife crime.

Poisoned Golden Eagle

You normally can’t tell if a bird has been poisoned – only a laboratory can give a definitive answer. Dead birds of prey should be reported to the police/RSPB

 

Here are a few key pointers for what to do if you find yourself in this situation….

Firstly,

DO NOT TOUCH!

If it is a crime scene, it is important that any evidence is not disturbed. It is also possible that a dead animal has eaten, or been laced with, very toxic chemicals. If you have a dog with you, keep it away. It is also important that you do not touch any traps or snares – if they have been legally set and you interfere with them, you may be committing an offence. You may also do yourself an injury.

DO

Take a careful note of what you have found (e.g. a dead Buzzard).

Note the date, time and location – ideally with a GPS device or get a grid reference. Imagine someone who has never been there before trying to locate the spot.

If you can, take some photographs, including images of the surrounding area

Note any other relevant information e.g. people or vehicles seen nearby

 

Crow Trap - these traps are widespread in our countryside and are used in the control of crows. However, they do catch other species, notably buzzards. If you have any concerns, contact the police

Crow Trap – these traps are widespread in our countryside and are used in the control of crows. However, they do catch other species, notably buzzards. If you have any concerns, contact the police

 

PLEASE REPORT IT!!

If you witness an on-going incident, (e.g. someone climbing a tree in which Ospreys are nesting) dial 999 and ask for the police.

If you come across the aftermath of a potential incident, contact the local police force and ask for the message to be passed to a Wildlife Crime Officer. If you wish to report the incident anonymously, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. See also here.

If there are concerns over the welfare of a live animal (eg caught in a trap or snare), contact the SSPCA on 03000 999 999.

Patridge bait - if you find an dead bird or animal in an unusual position or location, it may be a bait laced with poison or beside a trap. Photograph, don’t touch and contact the police/RSPB

Patridge bait – if you find an dead bird or animal in an unusual position or location, it may be a bait laced with poison or beside a trap. Photograph, don’t touch and contact the police/RSPB

 

Any incidents related to wild birds can also be reported to the RSPB Scotland Investigations team:

Ian Thomson (07887 596004)

Elsie Ashworth (07803955204)

James Leonard (07841 894672)

Or http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/wildbirdslaw/reportform.aspx

 

Please do report any potential incidents. Your find may help stop the illegal poisoning of a Golden Eagle, help convict an egg collector, or prevent a Goshawk starving to death in a trap.

For further information, see also:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Environment/Wildlife-Habitats/paw-scotland/types-of-crime/crimes-against-birds