Roaches peregrine chicks go missing

Posted by Ed Douglas on 11/06/2013
Wanted: wild peregrines are under threat from nest thieves

The disappearance of peregrine chicks from the Roaches Upper Tier in Staffordshire is a bitter blow following five years of successful breeding and an immense co-operative effort between nature conservation bodies, local volunteers and user groups – including climbers.

Roaches warden Jeff Sim of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust (SWT), which took over the running of the estate on 1 May from the Peak District National Park, said the chicks were probably taken illegally during the night of 29 May. There was no evidence that they had they fallen from the nest and been predated, he said.

The chicks were 28 days old and only had two more weeks until they fledged. Sim said it would be possible for a knowledgeable individual to keep the peregrine chicks alive. He said it was much more likely the chicks were stolen for illegal falconry practices than by any shooting interest.

The RSPB has said that following the government’s removal of some restrictions on keeping peregrines in 2008, there has been a surge in disturbance of nest sites. There are around 25 peregrine pairs in the Peak District and 1,400 nationally.

In 2010, Jeffrey Lendrum was sentenced to 30 months for attempting to smuggle 13 peregrine eggs collected from nests in South Wales out of the country in socks bandaged to his body for warmth. He was arrested in the Emirates business lounge at Birmingham airport before he could board a flight to South Africa, which included a 14-hour stopover in Dubai.

The United Arab Emirates has banned the importation of wild birds and there are two CITES-registered breeding centres in the UK that export to the Middle East. But there is still a market among wealthier falconers for wild birds, which attracts smugglers. Lendrum, who had previous convictions in Canada and Zimbabwe, had his sentence cut on appeal by 12 months.

Jeff Sim says that the SWT had brought more volunteers than ever before to watch the nest. The SWT was also part of Peregrine Watch last year, which saw two full-time PDNPA rangers and 10 volunteer rangers safeguarding the site. “Their survival depends on careful surveillance against disturbance,” Sim said.

Last year the peregrines nested on Hen Coud, but this year, because of late snow on the Hen Cloud nest site, the peregrines returned to their original 2008 nest on the Roaches Upper Tier. Before then, no peregrines had nested at the Roaches for a hundred years.

“We'd like to thank the many volunteers from the local area along with the Peak District National Park Authority volunteers and ranger service who worked with us in partnership to keep a watch on the nest site in rain, hail, snow and driving winds,” Sim said. “We'd also like to thank the British Mountaineering Council and its members who also helped us care for the nest site by observing the climbing restrictions.”

Sim says the SWT is reviewing its security measures for next year.

• The SWT is appealing for anyone who may have seen anything suspicious to get in touch with Staffordshire Police by dialling 101 and quoting incident 259 logged on 2 June.



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 1136 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

UPDATE - Ravensdale: Natural England impose precautionary seasonal climbing ban
12
UPDATE - Ravensdale: Natural England impose precautionary seasonal climbing ban

Ravensdale - a fantastic trad limestone crag in the Peak District - has once again fallen victim to precautionary restrictions imposed by Natural England this year. It is a disappointing development after a number of years of established restrictions, following the BMC's standard principles for agreeing climbing restrictions working well.
Read more »

New proposals: A threat to Welsh National Parks
5
New proposals: A threat to Welsh National Parks

In March, the BMC and other environmental and recreational groups raised concerns about proposals regarding the future of Welsh National Parks. The Welsh Government is debating these proposals on 6 June. Your help is needed to safeguard National Parks in Wales; use your voice to protect the family of National Parks. Please act before 6 June and read on to see how you can help.
Read more »

Welsh National Parks under threat
1
Welsh National Parks under threat

A new report commissioned by the Welsh Government recommends sweeping changes to the core purpose and governance of National Parks and other protected landscapes in Wales. The Future Landscapes Wales report has raised serious concerns amongst conservation bodies and recreation groups about the very purpose and future protection of these special places.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

UPDATE - Ravensdale: Natural England impose precautionary seasonal climbing ban
12

Ravensdale - a fantastic trad limestone crag in the Peak District - has once again fallen victim to precautionary restrictions imposed by Natural England this year. It is a disappointing development after a number of years of established restrictions, following the BMC's standard principles for agreeing climbing restrictions working well.
Read more »

New proposals: A threat to Welsh National Parks
5

In March, the BMC and other environmental and recreational groups raised concerns about proposals regarding the future of Welsh National Parks. The Welsh Government is debating these proposals on 6 June. Your help is needed to safeguard National Parks in Wales; use your voice to protect the family of National Parks. Please act before 6 June and read on to see how you can help.
Read more »

Welsh National Parks under threat
1

A new report commissioned by the Welsh Government recommends sweeping changes to the core purpose and governance of National Parks and other protected landscapes in Wales. The Future Landscapes Wales report has raised serious concerns amongst conservation bodies and recreation groups about the very purpose and future protection of these special places.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »