As I suggested in my original blog concerning the conservation and re-introduction of wolves, that as soon as there is a conflict between man and the protected species, then these wonderful ideas of re-introduction will fall on barren ground.
Almost by magic DEFRA have, only last week confirmed this point of view for me. In 2003 there was an estimated 120,000 buzzards in the UK and due to the alleged amount of Pheasants they are now taking and the impact it is having on the 'game shoot' it has been virtually decided to have a cull!
These birds have been a protected species for over 30 years, and due to this perceived problem we are now on the verge of taking away this protection. Approx 40 million pheasants are released in the UK annually as game birds. So what we are being led to believe is that the hunters and buzzards are killing between them 40 million pheasants?
No, of course they aren't so the 40 million are added to the current population so the amounts of these birds that would actually be taken by buzzards and hunters alike would be minimal. Of course going back to my last blog we are yet again creating a man made imbalance!
Now I do not believe a population of 120,000 buzzards will make such a huge impact on these numbers. Four million buzzards maybe! My reasoning is this. Buzzards would have to prey purely on this one species to have such an impact and even then barely make a dent, when as we all know buzzards are very often carrion feeders as well as taking live prey.
Therefore my conclusion in 'Protection of Wolves' part 1 appears to be correct! We love the idea of re-introduction, and or protection of certain high end predators until it impacts even in a small way on our human world. So in short the future does not look rosy for any top predator!
Follow Clive Norman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/maximusmooo