The very worst kind of conservation15/02/2011 08:43:34 Kill crows to save songbirds? Ridiculous. By Powell Ettinger
February 2011. A charity called Songbird Survival (SS) has launched an appeal for £88,000 that will ‘examine the impact of corvid removal on farmland songbird productivity.' In other words, they apparently want to kill as many corvids as possible in the hope that this will boost songbird numbers.
SS claim that a healthy increase in corvid numbers in the last 40 years may be responsible for the drop in farmland songbird numbers. No matter that these corvids are native species that were heavily prosecuted by gamekeepers until WWII. Once that prosecution eased, their numbers started to grow again, and so the stats show that they have increased in number in the last 40 years. Native species will find their natural balance naturally given the chance; the clue is in the wording.
How is this wildlife conservation?
The list of SS trustees makes interesting reading, they mostly seem to be large landowners and several have shooting interests. They do seem an unlikely group to be spearheading conservation of songbirds.
£88,000 waste - Then what?
And what if, disgracefully, SS does manage to raise the money and show that by removing corvids, songbird numbers increase? Are they then going to ask for millions to eradicate corvids? Where does this research lead whatever the conclusion that it comes to? Is there no better use in this world for £88,000 than to kill a few magpies? And once the crows have been killed, how long before they will come back? Will SS find money every year to keep the ravens away? What a ridiculous and frightening waste - They should have their charitable status withdrawn.