Above: The Raptor Persecution Map Hub allows you to search by year, incident, county and country, and visualise these on a map and corresponding graph


A MAP HUB of raptor persecution in the UK has been unveiled by the RSPB.

The online hub comprises a set of interactive maps, one of which can be filtered by year and incident type, and the other that provides an overview “heat map” of confirmed incidents across the UK.

The maps cover a five-year timespan from 2012-2016, with data and incidents added for each year, and aim to provide the most complete picture of known, confirmed illegal killing of birds of prey.

The Raptor Persecution Map Hub follows the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime Scotland (PAWS) maps, which plot the rise in crime against birds of prey in Scotland (see News, April 6, 2016). Until now, there has been no complete, centralised set of UK mapped raptor persecution data available, beyond the RSPB’s Birdcrime report which provides an annual snapshot.

Helen Mason, RSPB investigations intelligence manager, explained: “Putting all the UK raptor persecution incident data together in an easy-to-view map is something we feel has been needed for some time, to more accurately show the extent and scale of the problem year on year.

“The maps are designed to be used by everyone, from our law enforcement partners to members of the public.”

According to the maps, during 2012-2016 there were 490 confirmed incidents, with 2013 being the worst for raptor crime.

Over time, the Map Hub will evolve and be added to annually, to provide the most complete picture of raptor persecution across the UK.

Ms Mason added: “We hope this will help raise awareness and improve the detection and prevention of this type of crime, which is a National Wildlife Crime Priority.”

To visit the Raptor Persecution Map Hub, visit: www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/wildlife-and-the-law/wild-bird-crime and click “The Map Hub”.

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