Sunday, 15 April 2012

Keep and eagle eye out for thieves


RESIDENTS are being urged to keep their eagle eyes out for egg thieves this Spring.
Wildlife bosses have launched an operation cracking down on the theft of rare bird eggs across the local authority areas.
And as part of Operation Easter, the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW) Scotland is appealing for help in combating the attacks on nesting birds.
The wildlife experts fear egg thieves will be out and about attempting to rustle nests, and disturb birds during the vital breeding season which takes place in the spring and summer months.
The campaign which was started in Scotland 15 years' ago by Tayside Constabulary has since spread across the country with police forces, including Strathclyde Police, joining forces with the National Wildlife Crime Unit and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Ian Thomson, head of investigations at RSPB Scotland said: "Operation Easter has had tremendous success, over several years, in both detecting and deterring the activities of egg collectors in Scotland and further afield.
"However, we cannot afford to be complacent, and this out-dated pastime continues to pose a threat to some of our rarest species such as the Slavonian grebe and golden eagle."
With the increased use of CCTV cameras and tighter legislation acting as a deterrent, Charles Everitt, Scottish Investigative Support Officer at the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) also stressed that now was no time to become complacent.
He said: "We can't afford to relax at this stage. Over Easter and in the coming weeks Scotland's Wildlife Crime officers will be out in force, targeting anyone stealing from Scotland's wild bird nests."
Environment Minister and chairman of PAW Scotland Stewart Stevenson added: "While our member organisations are making significant headway tackling egg thieves, they can't do it alone and we depend on everyone who's out and about in the countryside to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police."
Anyone who witnesses or is concerned about egg theft in the Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire areas should contact the local police station or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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