BBC Wildlife’s recent list of the Top 50 Conservation Heroes made for interesting reading. It’s all completely subjective of course and but for what it’s worth, I thought most had a strong claim for inclusion. Others were more dubious choices and one or two made me really think hard (was anyone ever brought to justice over the hen harrier shooting on Sandringham Estate?) Then there were some very obvious omissions – Roy Dennis and Sir John Lister-Kaye to name but two.
Just a quick post to let you know that Fearna, one of the female osprey chicks from our local nest (many readers will know of or have seen this nest) has been fitted with a satellite tracker and her movements can be followed here. As I write this, she’s found her way safely as far as Devon!
Thanks to Roy Dennis of the Highland Foundation for Wildlife for providing the tracker and the platform to watch Fearna’s maiden migration to Africa.
Good luck girl!
Many of you will know of Roy Dennis, a man who has spent most of his life working with raptors. I saw him yesterday and he was telling me of his latest exploits satellite tracking peregrines, eagles and ospreys. He was also updating me on the hugely controversial problem of persistent raptor persecution in some parts of the Highlands. We agreed – and have done before – that the root of the issue is cultural rather than economic.
So is the glass half-full or half-empty? Over the years I’ve met lots of ‘half-empty’ types, claiming persecution will never stop, and I concede that it’s a societal problem that shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon. That said, there was a time when drink-driving was acceptable; ditto racism; ditto most ‘isms’, and, if we go back far enough, ditto slavery. It’s all to do with values, and values change slowly, especially those that are as entrenched as killing birds of prey.
So in spite of Roy’s (and many others) concerns, my glass is definitely half-full. With one caveat: legislation might provide a framework for dealing with those that are caught committing wildlife crimes, but it’s a crude tool for changing cultural values.