Last week, further criticism was levelled against the recent research into raven predation conducted by the RSPB and the University of Aberdeen on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage (see Raven predation research under fire, 24 February). The Moorland Group of the Scottish Rural Property and Business Association (SRPBA) added its voice to a number of organisations disputing claims that ravens do not impact on upland wader species.

The SRPBA argues that the research did not address the impact of growing flocks of sub-mature ravens, instead confining its findings to resident breeding pairs of ravens based on data up to nine years old. In early spring, juvenile ravens congregate in highly mobile flocks of 200 to 300 birds and predate for food across wide moorland areas. Prime targets are the eggs of groundnesting birds.

The rest of this article appears in 17th March issue of Shooting Times.

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