Who’s protecting the lambs?

Lamb after attack by raven

Lamb after attack by raven

I am entirely supportive of using the law to protect wildlife from persecution. And I fully recognise that nature truly is “red in tooth and claw”. But whether we like it not we live in an environment which is managed by man and we cannot simply abdicate our responsibility for that management.

The lamb in the picture was attacked last night or early this morning by a raven. It was still alive, probably sleeping, when it was attacked and indeed when it was found. Raven numbers on the estate are increasing year and year and this year we have seen them taking curlew eggs and they will of course be doing the same thing with the eggs of lapwings, black grouse and other ground nesting birds.

Through all this farmers and land managers are currently powerless to introduce any sort of management regime to try and create some balance. The result is inevitable. The successful predators do well; everything else suffers.

Man of course is the most successful predator of them all and we have learnt (to differing degrees, I accept) to exercise self-control to ensure that prey species survive. Other predators are unable to exercise the same self-control. Either we act to to balance things out or, in the long term, the predators will destroy themselves by destroying their own food sources. Let’s hope that the time is not too far distant when government and the various single interest groups start to recognise that some level of management control is required for some of nature’s most successful predators.

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