Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust will be supporting Operation Owl this September as part of our ongoing birds of prey campaign. Birds of prey are fantastic, awe-inspiring and joyful to see but sadly they are disappearing from our local area. Some of these birds are in decline for a number of reasons, including illegal persecution and wildlife crime such as trapping, shooting, poisoning, and nest disturbance.
Operation Owl, was established by the North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force, and they have now invited South Yorkshire Police, and other forces throughout the country to take part in a coordinated national awareness campaign. This will take place on the 21st and 22nd September. This is an opportunity for the public to gain a better understanding of what wildlife crime is, how to note the evidence, and how to report it to police.
For North Yorkshire Police Rural Task Force the message was simple,
“We have all had enough of the persecution of our birds of prey. These crimes simply should not be happening. It is often a hidden crime, but we wanted, through Operation Owl to raise the profile of these crimes, raise knowledge within the community of what a bird of prey crime scene looks like, increase the number of potential witnesses, increase the calls to police about potential illegal traps, increase the numbers of eyes and ears in the community, and thereby impact upon this criminality in our county”
Sadly illegal persecution of wildlife continues in our local area, but you can help; recognise, record and report! By reporting wildlife crime or related suspicious activity, we can work together to see an end to the illegal persecution of our birds of prey and all wildlife.
Useful information about how to report wildlife crime here.
Following on from Operation Owl and as part of our wider birds of prey campaign, Superintendent Nick Lyall, Chair of the National Wildlife Crime Unit’s Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group will be giving a talk at the Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust’s AGM on 26th Spetmber. Superintendent Nick will be discussing how the growing incidents of illegal birds of prey persecution across the country will be tackled. Book your place here.