This surely must be the most emotive and most discussed subject on any of the bird forums. One of the most disappointing parts of this discussion, here or on any other forum, is the total silence from the RSPB. Surely the RSPB should not only manage reserves and persecute egg collectors and others but also represent the views and wishes of its members. Recently they seem to have embodied the gun-ho attitude of FERA, not only with the Ruddy Duck but also Eagle Owls, Monk Parakeets etc. They have also been remarkably silent on the slaughter of 2000 Gannet chicks on Sula Sgeir each year. Isn't it time that the RSPB consults its members about these various slaughters, say through its magazine, and then supports whatever the majority of its members wish?
Information obtained from FERA, on March 7th 2011, under the freedom of information act, stated that the total overall cost of the "Ruddy Duck Eradication Programme" was £3.3M. The number of Ruddy Ducks culled was 7165 and they estimated the current population to be in the region of 100 birds. They also state that 35 non-target birds were killed, thse included Common Scoter, Black-necked Grebe, Mallard, Teal, Little Grebe, Pochard, Tufted Duck and Coot. Obviously this list is not complete as I know of a White-headed Duck and a Slavonian Grebe that disappeared during a cull.
Is there anyone out there, officially representing the RSPB, able to inform us and all its members of their latest position in regard to the culling of Ruddy Ducks, Monk Parakeets and any thing else that FERA considers to be unwanted. I also wish to know what they are doing to stop the slaughter of Gannet chicks. If they are no longer representing their members views but following the wishes of FERA and other government organisations then surely their charity status should be withdrawn and perhaps we should all consider whether our continued support is appropriate