Rupert Murdoch lies on hedgehogs to advocate killing badgers


This 2014 video shows wild badgers filmed in south Lincolnshire woodland in England.

Ever since British Conservative daily The Times became part of the Rupert Murdoch empire, it is as full of lies as the rest of that empire.

From the Badger Trust in Britain:

7th December 2015

Dear All,

Badger Trust Slams Times Newspaper for “Cynical Political Attack” Over Hedgehog Claims

The Badger Trust has accused the Times newspaper of a cynical, politically motivated attack on badgers contained in a recent article about declining hedgehog numbers.

The Times launched its Christmas charity appeal for hedgehogs on Saturday 28 November, informing its readers it was to help fund the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) in the battle to halt the decline one of the UK’s most endangered wildlife species.

However in the same issue it also printed an editorial entitled “Prickly Subject: More hedgehogs means fewer badgers”. In this article the Times claimed that increasing badger numbers were directly responsible for the collapse of the hedgehog population and that culling badgers in an attempt to lower bovine TB was also justified as a means of protecting hedgehogs.

Responding to the Times editorial Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust said,

“We welcome any campaign aimed at drawing public attention to the desperate plight of hedgehogs and the excellent work of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. However we are appalled by the cynical way the Times is trying to exploit the public’s Christmas goodwill by falsely claiming hedgehog numbers can only recover if we kill more badgers. This suggestion is not only blatantly motivated by political bias but is also not supported by any scientific evidence. The Times is yet again supporting the government’s badger cull policy but this time is widening the ‘badger blame game’ to include hedgehogs.”

Badger Trust Chairman, Peter Martin added,

“Between 40% and 80% of the badger’s diet is plant based depending on the time of year, the rest being made up of earthworms and beetles. Whilst badgers are capable of killing hedgehogs they very rarely do. Both species compete for the same food and removing one by culling naturally allows the other to thrive. Badgers and hedgehogs have coexisted in ecological balance for hundreds of thousands of years and it is only the destructive intervention of modern farming practices that has altered this balance so disastrously for hedgehogs.”

In a statement the British Hedgehog Preservation Society has said:

“An analysis of the original badger culling experiments, published in April 2014, shows that, at some sites, hedgehog numbers did increase following reduction in the number of badgers. This is not unexpected, considering what we know of the relationship between hedgehogs and badgers. BHPS and Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) do not consider this sufficient evidence to advocate culling badgers as a means of increasing hedgehog numbers, and believe that culling any species in an effort to conserve another is undesirable given better environmental approaches. Indeed, scientific evidence suggests that culling badgers may make the TB situation worse, a further reason why PTES/BHPS would not advocate culling badgers to benefit hedgehogs.”

Badger Trust Chairman Peter Martin continues,

“The key factors for the collapse in hedgehog numbers are intensive farming, pesticide use, garden fencing and road kill, so it’s disingenuous in the extreme for the Times to attempt to demonise the badger in the minds of their readers. It’s a disgraceful example of playing politics with wildlife conservation and it could lead to an increasing level of illegal persecution of badgers which are a protected species.”

Dominic Dyer CEO of the Badger Trust concludes,

“The Times does not deserve any credit or recognition for helping British wildlife conservation over Christmas and we are therefore encouraging the public to make any donations direct to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society rather than via the Times’ Christmas Appeal.”

More wader news from England


This video from Canada says about itself:

White-rumped Sandpiper (feeding and preening)

White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis, Vitgumpsnäppa) and Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla, Sandsnäppa), Tommy Thompson Park (Leslie Street Spit), Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 6 June 2010. Digiscoped with a Swarovski ATM-80 HD spotting scope and a Casio Exilim EX-Z750 snapshot camera using the Swarovski digital camera base (DCB) adapter.

From Rare Bird Network on Twitter in Britain today:

Linc[oln]s[hire]: WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER 1 still at RSPB Frampton Marsh. Also Temminck’s Stint & Curlew Sandpiper.

The white-rumped sandpiper is in capital letters, being a North American bird, rare in Europe.

Badger discovers Dutch nature reserve


This video from England is about wild badgers filmed in south Lincolnshire woodland.

Translated from the Dutch Natuurmonumenten conservationists:

04 Feb 2015, 12:16

A badger has been sighted in nature reserve Kampina of Natuurmonumenten! The animal was discovered by a camera trap, which was there for another study. Fortunately shrews researcher Oswald Remery raised the alarm when he saw some strange paws on the footage.

Probably the animal is a male from the area around Boxtel. Natuurmonumenten is taking various steps to connect nature reserves with each other. Animals and plants can move and reproduce more easily that way. The arrival of the badger is a first sign that these connections work.

2015, Year of Vincent van Gogh, and of the Badger


This video is about 2015, the Year of Vincent van Gogh.

Van Gogh the preacher? New show to explore artist’s life before painting: here.

2015 is not just the Year of Vincent van Gogh. And the Year of the Penny Bun for mycologists. And the Year of the Goat in the Chinese calendar (starting on 19 February).

The Dutch mammal society has made 2015 the Year of the Badger. Various activities are planned. Like counting badgers; a new book about badgers; telling young people about badgers; and promoting more tunnels under roads, preventing badgers and other animals from becoming roadkill.

This video from England is about wild badgers, filmed in south Lincolnshire woodland.

2014 had been the Year of the Red Squirrel in the Netherlands; a successful year.

English bird killer convicted


This video is called Common buzzards raising chicks in South Lakeland 2009.

From Wildlife Extra:

‘Vicious’ gamekeeper convicted of poisoning buzzards

Carbofuran poison used again

January 2013. A Lincolnshire gamekeeper has been convicted of killing two buzzards and possessing a quantity of an illegally-held poison, which the RSPB says would have been enough to destroy all the birds of prey in Lincolnshire.

Carbofuran

71-year-old Robert William Hebblewhite, of Appleby, Scunthorpe, was fined a total £1950 after he was convicted of killing two buzzards and possessing Carbofuran, a banned poison. The buzzards were found dead on land at Blyton, where he works as a gamekeeper. Toxicology tests revealed the birds had died from Carbofuran poisoning after the poison was laced on pheasant carcasses which the buzzards tried to feed on.

‘Vicious’ methods

In court Hebblewhite heard the judge describe him as an ‘old-fashioned’ gamekeeper who resorted to ‘vicious’ methods. The judge regretted the death of the two buzzards but added that it was ‘lucky’ that no other creature or human had discovered the poisoned baits first.

Hebblewhite had pleaded guilty to possessing Carbofuran at an earlier hearing on 15 October, 2012.

The RSPB‘s Mark Thomas, who was at Lincoln Magistrates Court for the conviction, said: “The possession and use of Carbofuran is illegal, and yet birds of prey are still being killed by this poison. This conviction shows this poison is still in circulation in quantities sufficient to kill huge numbers of birds of prey. A few grains of the poison will kill a bird of prey; a jar is enough to kill all the birds of prey in a county. With yet another gamekeeper convicted of poisoning birds of prey, it is time for this illegal and indiscriminate practise to be consigned to the pages of history.”

Widespread practice

The RSPB believes it is a widespread practice to place poison on a rabbit or pheasant carcass which is then left for birds of prey to consume. Sometimes even pets are the unfortunate victim, and since 2000 the RSPB has evidence of such poison abuse incidents affecting at least 56 dogs and 22 cats.

Jeff Knott is the RSPB’s species policy officer. Commenting on the case, he said: “Reporting last year, the Environmental Audit Committee‘s review into wildlife crime recognised the significance of these poisons and called on the Government to bring in simple measures to further limit their use.”

There are currently 240 pairs of buzzard nesting in Lincolnshire, but the birds only recolonized the county in 1997. Historically, buzzards were absent from much of eastern Britain because of persecution.