Thursday, 15 December 2011

Amazing what you find on the internet.

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views but following the wishes of FERA and other government organisations then surely their charity status should be withdrawn and perhaps we should all consider whether our continued support is appropriate


Anonymous said...

I left the RSPB over 12 years ago. Politics and appeasement are now the core principles of this organisation. Members are good enough to donate their annual subscriptions, but count for nothing else.

AndyC said...

The world is a better place with the RSPB ..fact ....but I wish they were a bit more open with these issues.Marsh harrier, Avocet,Bittern etc are all on the up because of the RSPB...

DJSutcliffe said...

I am and will remain a life long supporter of the RSPB. No other organisation has done so much around Britain to protect and improve threatened sites for the benefit of birds - and we all reap the benefits. Leighton Moss, Blacktoft, Fairburn, are all great places locally for birds and the birdwatcher. Minsmere is a fantastic place as we found earlier this year how much has improved all round since I first went there in 1972! Ospreys, Red Kites, Bearded Tits, Stone Curlew, Choughs etc.... list is endless of birds that have increased and been protected due to RSPB action and influence.

I agree there are always concerns about political manouverings and I am concerned about inaction on lots of issues so thanks for highlighting these Andy. Hen Harrier is one that comes to mind but they will need political influence somewhere along the line to get support to protect these special birds.

Andrew Huyton said...

Andy I wish you'd also posted this on the Calderbirds blog so I'd seen it earlier. I'm currently a member but am quickly becoming very disillusioned with the RSPB. I agree they have done a lot to help birds, that is beyond reproach however because an organisation once did the right thing does not mean you should always back it. Lack of action on Hen harrier and Twite stand out but so do free holidays to Malta for staff who aren't concerned with the birds but love the beaches. Low wages and part time hours for field staff whilst paying over the top wages for H/O and regional office staff, eg £15k pro rata for hen harrier officer for the whole of the North east (3 day week) v £22-24k for full time photo libraian at the Lodge!!!
Maybe birds need a new Charity for their protection one a little less conservative or maybe the CEO and other managers need to just get back in touch with the members Or maybe the problem is the apathy of the majority of it's members. Something must be wrong at the root of the organisation though when the Welsh guy (sorry can't remember his name) openly critisies them and as a result loses his job.
I only wish I could win the Euro Lottery on a big rollover because £100 million would go along way towards sorting some of the problems out.