Ever thought about what is and what is not, illegal: and why?
Take one species as a discussion point to examine, and then ask why it is either a) worthy of protection or b)whether you agree with them either being pursued to extinction or just NIMBY?
The item under discussion is a bird of prey, namely the hen harrier. This bird is one of nature’s more successful hunters, because that is what this particular species has evolved into, and who can argue with the processes of nature? Unfortunately, the hen harrier has flown directly into a conflict with modern capitalism, in the shape of managed moors which hold grouse and other farmed birds which are grown to be shot. The harrier is a very efficient killer, because that’s what it’s very nature is, and if the male sees a field full of either static or slow-moving birds which it naturally considers as food, it is going to do what comes naturally, and therein lies the problem. The gamekeepers who manage the shoot moors rightly or wrongly consider the hen harrier as a pest to be driven from their area, and while not killing them, certainly make life uncomfortable to the point where the birds get the message, and move their nests and possible chicks to happier places where the gamekeepers do not rule!
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is naturally adamant that the hen harrier is, as a protected species, beyond reproach when it kills the nesting chicks etc. on a grouse moor. One would scarcely expect otherwise. The RSPCA has encouraged the breeding and nesting programme for these birds in Lancashire, but professes not to understand why these birds are failing to extend the range of their flying areas, as they feel that the birds should be capable of extending their numbers naturally, and in such extension, naturally the harriers would wish to fly and nest in areas where food is readily available. Their (inescapable) conclusion that the harriers are being persecuted is without serious evidence or proof, it is just that they reckon that the only enemy extant are the grouse gamekeepers, and therefore ‘case closed’.
Myself, I’m not convinced. It is possible that gamekeepers take an active strategy to rid their lands of such an efficient killer, bit it is also possible that the hen harrier just does not transplant as easily as the ‘experts’ believe!
P.S. Just as an afterthought, particularly relevant not only to this post, but our very way of thinking certainly within Great Britain. Ever thought about why we have the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, as well as the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals; but only the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children?