BTO Press release

Sir Ian Botham told the world on the Today programme about a grouse moor, surveyed by the BTO that had oodles and oodles of Lapwing, Curlew and Golden Plover.  Apparently the BTO knows nothing about it

British Trust for Ornithology Press Statement – Pennine Grouse Moor survey report

A bird survey that was reported to have taken place on a managed grouse moor in the Pennines has been widely quoted in the media this week. The report arising suggested that 800 pairs of Lapwing, 400 pairs of Curlew and 100 pairs of Golden Plover were present, and that 89 species of bird were seen. These results have been used as evidence that moorland managed for grouse shooting is good for birds.

These figures have been attributed to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), but this claim is erroneous. This fieldwork was not carried out by the BTO and did not use the rigorous statistical methods employed by BTO in order to produce accurate estimates of this type.

The organisation wishes to make it clear that the quoted figures should not be attributed to the BTO.

BTO is a charity dedicated to providing scientific information to inform decisions about birds and their habitats. Whenever possible we make our evidence available for use by all stakeholders.


26 Replies to “BTO Press release”

  1. Oh dear, they’ve been rumbled again!

    Whereas we are wise to their erroneous [non]evidence the media particularly the BBC need to wise up to the fact that they are quite simply unreliable, otherwise they will have the proverbial egg all over their faces?

    I’m sure the BBC programmes which have relied on erroneous information will publish a statement explaining how they failed to ensure veracity as well as an apology?

    1. Your not wrong Seamus.

      Botham is stupid enough to believe the guff that YFTB are feeding him, but I’m sure he will have something to say to Ian Gregory about this. Ouch!

  2. Doubtless the dark side will continue to quote these figures despite the BTO statement. That at least is the usual practice.

  3. Make it up, exaggerate, use hyperbole……repeat. There you go, its a known fact. In fact its a very big fact. Its the most biggest tremendously factual fact about the truth. AN its been verified by somebody I met a boasting competition…and they were the winners so it must be the most truthful fact ever. And that’s science!

  4. I presume we can expect a whole lot of this sort of guff when it comes to The Debate. They’re not going to go down without a fight and they’re not going to fight clean.

    What is reassuring is ALL the evidence is on our side.

    That said, politicians are as likely persuaded by perception as well as, or as much as, by evidence so continuing to have shooters present themselves as arrogant bullies is the way to go. Thanks Beefy!

    1. You only have to look at the NFU & DEFRA with the appalling badger cull to see how real science is completely ignored. It’s the old saying – repeat a lie often enough and eventually it’s deemed to be the truth!

  5. The petition is at 95,475 at the moment, a true indication of public distaste at the practice of publicly subsidised habitat mis-management in order to maintain artificially high numbers of willow grouse that can be driven towards guns for people to kill for fun. It would be good if the total reaches 100,000 today but regardless we are on the cusp of taking ownership of the 12th of August back, no longer to be remembered for the nationally shameful practices we object to but a day of celebration of the power of public opinion in the name of animal welfare. If your family and friends are not aware of the petition, please ask them to consider the issues and sign if they feel compelled.

    1. I’m confused. Botham doesn’t reference the BTO in his article so I am not sure why this is relevant. What am I missing.

  6. Just listened to the interview. Two things come to mind
    1) Who did this survey, does it even exist.
    2) Why did I not know about Hen Harrier introductions? Of there is no need for this if the DGS become proper guardians.
    Roll on 100K, even 200k at this rate!

  7. has anyone heard of a group called the RSPB, they get a lot of criticism from the shooting fraternity but don’t seem to respond to any of it

    1. As ever it’s a case of Gentleman Jim vs a street fighter with a knuckle duster but with help from his friends, it looks like Jim might win this round.

  8. A great effort from Mark; Chris and everyone, but:

    Unfortunately for us; a lot of MPs, including Labour shoot at these places. Any idea of rational debate in Parliament is compromised and with Loathsome in ENvironment, realistically, I think we can forget about it.

    A poll of shooting MPs and; shooting Chief Constables would be a good idea, to find out just how they are represented.

    1. Except there is a wave of anti-establishment sentiment running throughout society at the moment (ref Brexit, Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, even “The Donald” across the pond). Increasingly we are aware that they (the elites and establishment) have let the vast majority down, financially, politically and environmentally. IMHO you have to tap into this and fight like they fight. Even if you disagree with his politics, Owen Jones sheds light on this in his book “The Establishment and How They Get Away With It”

  9. Well well, one of England’s greatest cricketers is now bowling underarm (ie cheating). How much lower I wonder.

  10. Of course that survey may just have been an error of communication on the part of YFTB ( You Forgot to Tell Botham ).

  11. The survey quoted must be well out of date; 800 pairs of Lapwings? I doubt there are that many in Yorkshire, never mind on one grouse moor. Ecological and numerical influence of predators and prey was well studied by David Lack and published in 1954, we seem to learned little in sixty years. Here’s hoping the petition has some influence when discussed in Parliament….I have grave doubts it will even get that far.

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