Saturday, 26 May 2012

Prominent Shooter Breaks Ranks on Buzzards

Well known shooter and ex- shooting magazine editor James Marchington has countered claims that there is a widespread Buzzard problem on Twitter this morning.
Breaking ranks with the 76% of gamekeepers who when surveyed stated that Buzzards were a problem (without any coercion or pressure from their employers apparently) James tweeted "this is about 'rogue' Individuals attacking specific pens".

Begs the question then why £375,000 of (bad) research has been commissioned that still won't establish whether a widespread issue exists at all and quite clearly highlights that gamekeepers and shooting interests are in disarray attempting to defend a problem that simply doesn't exist on a large scale.


James Marchington said...

Alan, it seems that you, along with the 2800-odd people who have signed the petition, have not bothered to read the Defra document. It states quite clearly that "anecdotal evidence suggests it [losses caused by buzzards] can be significant at the local site level". And "It is claimed that individuals may target pheasant release pens...". The research is aimed at assessing management techniques that would address this, in precisely that sort of situation. As I read it, there is no intention to permit widespread 'control', even the non-lethal sort.

Before people start jumping up and down about this, they should really read and understand the Defra document, or they just make themselves look silly.

PS It's kind of you to call me "prominent" but please don't misrepresent what I say, or suggest that I am somehow at odds with shooters generally, which is clearly not the case.


alan tilmouth said...

Given that the only motivation behind the research appears to be the straw poll conducted that resulted in 76% of gamekeepers towing the party line. If they are indeed correct then one might expect 76% of estates to apply to control Buzzards.
The fundamental issue remains that there is a huge desire to reduce the numbers of Common Buzzard when your tweet is is rather ironically much closer to what may be the truth, that an odd pair or two managed to have it away with some poults from a tiny number of release pens. Of course if proper research into the extent of the problem was conducted the low predation rate would be exposed and the 76% seen for what they are.

James Marchington said...

Never mind 'straw poll', your comment is one 'straw man' argument after another. I hope readers will look for themselves into the problems gamekeepers may or may not face, and what this proposed Defra study entails, rather than relying on your very misleading interpretation.

alan tilmouth said...

I agree entirely, people should go and look at the results of the GWCT radio-tracking that found less than 1% take by raptors. They should also take a look at the BTO website that demonstrates how Buzzards have 'recovered' rather than simply increased. Or maybe have a look at the information from a guy who has studied Buzzards for 30 years writing about the subject on Andre Farrar's blog. And when they reach the only possible. Inclusion faced with the facts I hope they decide they have been mis-led enough and kick up a shitstorm of mail and protest to force DEFRA to back off the plans to attempt relocation and nest destruction.