SGA request for Scottish wind farms to be monitored

By Sophie Chapman
The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) refuses claims that its members are to be blamed for the increase in the disappearance of birds of...

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) refuses claims that its members are to be blamed for the increase in the disappearance of birds of prey and other protected birds.

Instead, the SGA argue the recent impact made on Scottish wildlife is due to the increase number of windfarms, and that this has gone unreported.

The association has requested that the monitoring around turbines is tightened in order for accurate information and knowledge about what is really happening to birds.

Gamekeepers on grouse moors were suspected following a report this year that announced the disappearance of 41 out of 131 tagged eagles in Scotland over a period of 12 years.

According to Scottish Natural Heritage, the majority of the birds disappeared on land, and so they made no connections to the wind farms.

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The SGA was not satisfied with this ruling, and along with the increasing number of windfarms in the highlands, that have announced what they feel is their duty to intervene in the argument.

This follows the RPSB’s fight against the Forth and Tay wind farms, which was overturned last week.

“A code for ongoing monitoring of wind farms, for wildlife impacts would be helpful. Checks exist but are inconsistent and organised by operators themselves, often using maintenance crew. There is no statutory duty to report bird collisions in Scotland,” commented Alex Hogg, SGA Chairman.

“We said at the time we were not convinced by the wind farm element of the satellite tagged eagle report but we didn’t want to detract from our condemnation of illegal behaviour,” he added.

“We have, ourselves, expelled six members in five years for wildlife crime convictions. However, we disagreed, and still do, with the report’s assumption there would be little motive for wind companies not to report downed birds.”

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