Environment |Emerging

Major UK conservation project has failed, says wildlife charity

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The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) ended its involvement in a five-year initiative to promote UK bird populations, citing “illegal persecution” of birds of prey and blaming partner organisations for failing to admit the harm done by lucrative hunting practices.

The RSPB, a charity concerned with the conservation of wild bird populations in the UK and around the globe, has been involved in the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative, along with four other conservation groups, since 2011. The purpose of the project was to encourage the growth of several specific species of UK birds, like hen harriers and goshawks.

In a statement, the RSPB’s Richard Barnard, said: “We have committed a lot of time and energy to make this project a success but it’s clear that this is not going to happen.”

Barnard said that the project had failed not just because of “illegal persecution such as shooting, trapping and poisoning” but the refusal of partner organisations to acknowledge that these practices are linked to lucrative grouse shooting.

The move follows numerous confirmed incidents against birds of prey and serious declines of several raptor species, such as goshawks and hen harriers, which points towards sustained and widespread illegal persecution in the area.

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These news stubs were written by students at De Montfort University at an event with staff journalists from WikiTribune

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