The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation welcomes the conclusions of a recent conference in Brussels, which concluded that predator control is an essential tool for bird conservation across Europe and requires close cooperation between hunters, farmers, landowners, bird organisations and authorities.

The conference, held on the 6th March, was organised by FACE and hosted by Members of the European Parliament. 

FACE is the European Federation of Hunting and Conservation and the NGO is a long-standing member of the organisation.

Charles Nodder, Political Adviser with the NGO said, “We very much welcome the conclusions of this conference. It really got to the heart of why predator control can be a vital element in conserving many of our rapidly declining bird species.  Research in the UK is unequivocal in showing that protecting birds such as threatened curlew from predators in the nesting season is vital if we wish to save many once common species.  However, the stumbling block is a lack of public understanding and we need to get much better at communicating the role predator control plays in conservation.”

curlew

The conference discussed how population declines of previously common breeding birds in Europe such as lapwing and curlew are often driven by low reproductive success resulting from habitat loss and high levels of chick/nest predation.

All speakers and participants agreed that it is very important to effectively communicate to the public why predator control is required. 

MEP Bendt Bendtsen, Vice-President of the Intergroup, who chaired the meeting concluded with:  “EU policy contains a clear obligation to conserve wild bird species and their habitats.  To achieve conservation successes for these species, there is broad consensus that we need to address predation, in conjunction with creating more and better habitat.”

The NGO and other UK shooting organisations will continue to be members of FACE after Brexit in order to monitor and influence the development of legislation in Europe when it may have a bearing on the UK.

Read the full article here


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