Was it really only yesterday that Birders Against Wildlife Crime launched their crowd funding appeal to set up a raptor-tagging project? In just over a day it has already raised getting on for £5,000 out of an initial target of £10,000. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.
The project involves satellite-tagging raptors in persecution hot-spots in the north of England to study their movements and to collect information leading to prosecutions if the movements cease. It’s all understandably a bit vague since there are wildlife criminals who would love to know more about the species and locations being used.
I know that BAWC are thrilled with progress so far – they are confident that actual tagging will start this year because the money will be there. And let’s be honest, the more money is raised the more work can get done. However, satellite tags aren’t available on Amazon for next-day home delivery (yet?) and they are made to order, so the more money that comes in the better, but also the quicker it arrives the bigger the order of high-tech tags can be.
This is a good project, but it also represents a step forward and upward for BAWC in its development. This is BAWC’s first big field project actually getting to grips with wildlife crime. Good for them!
But is it ambitious enough? I’d hope that many of the 123,077 people who signed the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting will also find a quid or two to donate to this work and help BAWC take the battle to the wildlife criminals. We need to create a landscape of fear for wildlife criminals where the chances of being caught breaking the law and then prosecuted are raised.
So if you spent time delivering leaflets or persuading your workmates, relatives and friends to sign that contentious e-petition maybe you could ask them for a quid or two to help understand more about living raptors and to increase the chance of catching the wildlife criminals. Please give generously here.