RSPB announce stoats predated only known Bee-eater nest despite their '24hr protection measures'
There was much excitement when the RSPB recently announced the rare bee-eaters had this year returned to a site in Norfolk, to take up summer residency at a disused quarry in Trimingham, near Cromer.
So unusual is it to see these birds in the UK, which are mostly found in parts of Africa and Asia, that the RSPB created a specialist team to monitor the birds 24 hours a day to, in their words, 'try and protect the birds from any harm'.
However, as is frequently the case with RSPB projects, their efforts to protect the birds from predation achieved nothing after it was announced that their 'nest had failed' and 'stoats had been seen close by'.
It begs the question what on earth were this '24hr protection team' actually doing to protect the birds considered 'as rare as rainbow birds' and what measures were in place to catch the nearby stoats?
Stoats are well known for their ability to decimate the nests of rare birds up and down the country, which is why so much effort is made to trap them in order to neutralise their threat.
The importance of these traps can not be overstated in protecting endangered species, and yet everyday traps are vandalised across the country by members of the public, who then often boast on social media that they are helping things. Most recently activist Guy Shrubsole recorded himself sabotaging a trap on a private estate well known for its rich biodiversity.
How much public money was wasted by the RSPB in their futile efforts to protect the bee-eaters in Norfolk is unknown. However, until the importance of lethal predation control measures is recognised and advocated by organisations like the RSPB, then we will continue to see our most endangered species fail to recover.