If you think we have problems with raptor poisoning, check out the story in this week's issue highlighting the situation in Greece. Recent events in the North-East of the country have seen seven raptors poisoned after two wild horses were killed and the carcasses laced with poison. Local conservation groups are beside themselves, as a spate of poisonings has lost the country more than 30 per cent of its griffon vulture population in the last 12 months. It's believed shepherds who were trying to kill wolves and bears laid the poison. Undoubtedly, it's not only economic problems that Greece has.
And what's happening in Scotland? Is there no one out there prepared to organise the Scottish National? It would be a shame for this well-loved old show to bite the dust after more than 100 years.
It's hard to comprehend the level of killing that goes on in Cyprus these days. It seems with every month there's some new horrifying statistic about how many songbirds have been killed and put into the pot. While the EU is undoubtedly a very positive institution for supporting wildlife and birds, through grants and protection laws, it now has to wield some of its power with the Cyprus government to stop this slaughter. You can bet that if a threat to chuck them out of the EU were to be issued, measures would pretty soon be taken to enforce EU law. For such a tiny island the figure quoted this week of approaching 3m songbirds killed last year is an ecological tragedy that requires immediate redress.
And finally let's hope our friends at ProAves in Colombia can continue to make headway with the nutty Catholics who persist in chopping down palm trees – the one habitat of the yellow-eared parrot – in order to celebrate some archaic ritual on Palm Sunday. As well as trying to preserve the trees maybe the conservationists should also try to explain to the "believers" that the planet is actually 4.5 billion years old (not 3,000) and that it's a finite resource.
Hasta la vista
Hasta la vista, amigos…
Monals are undoubtedly the most brilliantly garbed of all game birds, the metallic refl ections of their blue, purple, green and red hues being equalled only by those of the birds of paradise, sunbirds and hummingbirds. It is hard to decide whether or not monals are the fi nest of all pheasants, but they are certainly of outstanding interest .