At the time that I wrote my blog on pheasants, here, little did I know that within a few, short days the touch paper would be lit on a DEFRA scandal of epic proportions. The poor old beleaguered pheasants have been well and truly caught in no-mans land. Shot by one side and not even wanted by the other.
I do not have a problem with pheasants as individuals, I love to watch their daily soap opera in my back garden and on my local patch. However, I am worried about the damage that millions of released pheasants may be causing to our countryside and woodland. We have to remember that pheasants are not native to this country and require careful management. Natures balance can be easily upset. Just look at what has happened to the red squirrels.
That is why management of buzzards to protect pheasants cannot be allowed to happen. The buzzard, or any other native raptor for that matter, must not become the 'fall-guy' for the appeasement of the shooting fraternity. Rather they should be looked upon as an integral part of non-native species management. Research in the USA has shown that a healthy raptor population can in fact be part of the solution to upsurges in the pheasant population and the increased ecological damage that this can cause. Let us not forget that a percentage of the released birds make it through to the feral population each season. They are breeding and they are becoming more numerous. I see it every summer in my own back garden.
The good news is that in this age of 'super fast technological wonders' we can all do something about this issue. We can sign e-petitions here and here. We can 'step up for nature' with the RSPB here. We can harness the power of Twitter and Facebook to contact our MP and make our voices heard. We can go 'once more into the breach' with this man here. But most importantly together we can #SaveOurBuzzards. It all depends on if you want to.
I want to, do you?