The bloody truth about conservation: we need to talk about killing

There is an imbalance in the UK’s suite of predators

We have disrupted the natural order over centuries, by taking out many, if not all, of the top predators – wolves, bears, eagles, goshawks etc – that would naturally keep the others in check. Today the question of which predators we kill, where we kill them, how many we kill and who decides all this is one of the most divisive that conservationists face.

Fox up a Tree - Wikicommons

To help start a civilised conversation, we need a common language that eradicates derogatory terms such as “vermin” and “pest”, which degrade wildlife. The dialogue, currently polarised between the shooting, landowning interests and anti-shooting voices, should instead be positive and inclusive, not accusatory and finger-pointing. A very good starting place is the recognition that we all want the same thing – a nature-rich country – and we must work together despite our differences to overcome the challenges of climate change, a growing human population and diminishing wildlife.

If we are to tackle our reputation as one of the most nature-depleted countries on earth, a civilised debate on predator control is badly needed.

Article in the Guardian by Mary Colwell, 28th May 2018
Read the full article here

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