Birdwatch Ireland, one of the countries largest environmental and conservation groups have attacked local newspaper the Tipperary star over what it calls a misleading and misinformed front page article on birds of prey.
The article in question warns readers to be on high alert from the major problem of buzzards in the Tipperary area that may take cats and small dogs. The article states that buzzards attacked on two occasion a small terrier dog killing it on the second occasion.
Birdwatch Ireland have warned that the article has far reaching consequences and threatens to drag Ireland back into a ‘darker past' by fostering negativity towards birds of prey. Ireland has a relatively low rate of vultures in comparison to our European neighbours. The birds can reach large sizes but they usually prey on dead animals or other birds.
Birwatch Ireland also clarified that buzzards do not kill lambs but will feed on dead lambs which is where some ideas of the idea of them killing lambs may be arising from.
John Lusby, Raptor Conservation Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, said, “These issues extend far beyond how we view birds of prey. As top predators, Buzzards are excellent indicators of a healthy countryside. Their presence in an area should be viewed as a positive indication of a well-functioning ecosystem, as well as a benefit to local agriculture. Their re-colonisation has restored a natural balance, filling a vital ecological niche which has been empty for decades. Our treatment of birds of prey reflects our level of respect for the environment.”
Its an issue we recently covered in our Sunday Feature you can read the very popular article here.
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[Image via bridwatch Ireland cavan branch]