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Two arrested and charged following destruction of eggs in Durness area


By Alan Hendry

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The corncrake is on the red list of birds of high conservation concern. Picture: Graham Goodall / rspb-images.com
The corncrake is on the red list of birds of high conservation concern. Picture: Graham Goodall / rspb-images.com

Two people have been charged in connection with the destruction of a large number of eggs from nesting seabirds in north-west Sutherland as well as the disturbance of a rare breeding bird.

A report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal following the arrests of a 21-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman in the Durness area on Tuesday, May 17.

Constable Daniel Sutherland, a wildlife crime liaison officer, said: “The destruction of such a large number of nesting birds’ eggs at an established seabird breeding site is extremely sad and disheartening."

Constable Sutherland said the disturbance of a corncrake in the process was "extremely frustrating" as it could hamper the successful breeding of a bird described as extremely rare.

He added: “Police Scotland takes the unlawful disturbance of protected breeding birds seriously and all reports and information received regarding any possible disturbances will be investigated thoroughly and dealt with appropriately.

“Our wildlife officers work closely with partner agencies, including RSPB and the Cairngorms National Park Authority, in relation to cases of unlawful bird disturbance. We rely on their expert assistance in cases such as these and extend our thanks to them for assisting our investigations.”

Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s head of investigations, said: “This incident is particularly depressing. Not only were numerous eggs of several species destroyed in what appeared to be an act of senseless destruction, but even more worryingly, a key site for one of Scotland’s rarest breeding birds will have suffered significant disturbance as a result.

"We are very concerned about the potential impact this could have on this year’s breeding season there.”

The corncrake is on the red list of birds of high conservation concern because of "major population declines both historically and recently", according to the RSPB.




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