From: Adrian Blackmore, Countryside Alliance, Tidworth Street, London.
THE RSPB’s comment that predator control “is the last- resort option” in the article ‘A quarter of UK birds under threat as curlew joins red list’ (The Yorkshire Post, April 11) is not at all helpful in securing the future security of curlews in the UK.
The curlew is a globally threatened species in chronic decline and thanks to scientific studies we know that predator control plays an essential role in its conservation, as demonstrated by the continued breeding success of curlew on keepered moors in the uplands.
By comparison, on land where there was no predator control, the breeding success can be well below the level needed to sustain the population.
Now is not the time for the RSPB to be hand-wringing over whether predator control will go down badly with their members.
They have a responsibility to do everything necessary to help conserve the curlew, and support all landowners that are doing likewise. Not to do so is irresponsible, contributing as it would to the continuing decline of this iconic species.