Moles apart: a sorry sign of a split in our attitude to wildlife

A week past, I had the pleasure of spending a full day in the uplands of Northumberland. A thoroughly enjoyable affair marked by the energetic courtship flights of returning waders, the go-back, go-back calls of innumerable Red Grouse and even the sight of a black cock or two. It was a joyous day, truth be…

Mountain Hares crash and burn in Scotland

A new study, conducted jointly by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the RSPB, has highlighted a catastrophic decline in Scotland’s Mountain Hare population. With numbers suspected to have fallen to less than 1% of the level recorded just 60 years ago. From 1954 to 1999, it is estimated that hare numbers decreased by…

RSPB criticised for protecting birds… fancy that?

This week, the depths of social media have been filled with grumblings of discontent aimed at the RSPB for their use of lethal control as a conservation tool on their land: to protect threatened curlew (and other ground-nesting birds), to restore woodland and to protect a suite of native fauna from damaging invasive species. To…

Pondering those godawful ‘pigeon spikes’

Modern society is growing increasingly disconnected from the natural world. That, unfortunately, is a fact. And it will come as no surprise to learn that many, particularly (but not limited to) those living in urban areas, have come to view wildlife as a hindrance in daily life or, worse still, a mere obstacle to be killed,…

Dwelling on Deer: Culls and Control

There is no way around it, our small island is positively bursting with deer. So many in fact, that the issue of overpopulation and its subsequent implications are up there with the other great threats facing our countryside. And, arguably, of much greater concern than other issues prone to dominating the headlines – many of which,…

Perceptions of Wildlife: the Urban Humanist

Following on from a recent blog post where I looked at my own perception of wildlife and the management of opinion-splitting species, I decided to start a new series of guest blogs. Posts which, I hope, will begin to look at the differences in stakeholder attitudes towards wildlife.  With the aim of comparing outlooks between…

Chronic Wasting Disease: A Major Threat To Europe’s Deer?

2016, unfortunately, saw the first verified cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) outside of its native range in North America, identified back in March in  Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. Proceeded by confirmed cases of infection in wild Moose around Selbu, located 300km North of the first case. With the Norwegian Veterinary Institute confirming a fourth case…

Exploring My Personal Perception Of Wildlife

It should come as little surprise that the majority of issues initially billed as human/wildlife conflicts actually centre more on conflict between stakeholder groups. Between humans and other humans, as opposed to man and beast. Wildlife, as a rule, is not overly confrontational, whereas people are. Thus many of the “big issues” in the realms…