Subject: BTO: Updated guidance on the release of non-native species – Important: please read
In recent years the Government has been reviewing legislation around non-native species with the aim of limiting their impact on native wildlife. Under the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981), it is illegal to release any plant or animal into the wild which is not normally resident in, or a regular visitor to, Great Britain, including a subset of established non-native species listed on Schedule 9.
In legal terms, release of a bird caught during ringing activities would qualify as such a release but ringers are granted a specific exemption from this legislation via the organisational licences issued to BTO by the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs, e.g. Natural England). In recent years, each country has independently reviewed this exemption and made changes to the list of species that can be legally released by ringers.
On 1 December 2019, a new piece of EU legislation, the Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 (enacting EU Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species) will come into force in England and Wales only, which will further restrict the list of non-native species that can be legally released by ringers. The most widespread species on this list of new exclusions is Egyptian Goose.
To clarify the situation, the text below lists those non-native species that cannot be released after capture during ringing operations and should therefore not be targeted. We appreciate that there is a risk of accidental capture and have asked Defra and the SNCBs for advice on how ringers should react in this situation; unfortunately they have yet to respond so it is recommended that any activities which run the risk of accidentally catching one of these species be suspended until we are able to disseminate this information, which we will hopefully receive in the next week.
List of non-native species which should not be targeted by ringers as they cannot be subsequently released; note, this supersedes the list in the RIN paper RIN:MAR19:ITEM5:
· England – Egyptian Goose, Ruddy Duck, Sacred Ibis, Indian House Crow.
· Scotland – Canada Goose, Black Swan, Ruddy Shelduck, Ruddy Duck, Sacred Ibis, Eagle Owl , Monk Parakeet, Ring-necked Parakeet, Indian House Crow.
· Wales – Egyptian Goose, Ruddy Duck, Sacred Ibis, Indian House Crow.
· Northern Ireland – Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Egyptian Goose, Mandarin Duck, Ruddy Duck, Sacred Ibis, Indian House Crow.
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