Help stop wild bird egg thefts

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Police Scotland, along with RSPB Scotland, is appealing for public help in preventing the theft of wild bird eggs in Tayside.

They are urging members of the public across Tayside to report any suspicious activity around wildlife reserves or in open countryside, to help prevent the theft of wild bird eggs at this time of year.

All wild birds, their nests and their eggs are protected by law and officers would ask residents to be alert to any possible incidents of egg theft or any circumstances where nesting birds are being disturbed.

Detective Inspector Paul Riley, Wildlife Crime, Tayside Division, said: “Egg collectors often drive all around the country in search of vulnerable locations. When targeting species, thieves will often park away from a site and approach on foot or pedal cycle usually in the late evening or early morning.

“They may have been around all day locating a nest site so they can quickly approach and take the eggs. They favour certain dates for particular species and locations and will return to places where they have been successful in the past.

“Collectors can devote their life to the pursuit of eggs and can become obsessed with the practice. They usually take the whole clutch of eggs, and may return for a second clutch. Rare species of birds are often targeted.

“The activities of such criminals can have serious consequences for the survival of some of our rarest bird species.

“Nature reserves are a prime target for egg thieves and staff work closely with officers and the RSPB Investigations Section to report suspicious activity.

“Please assist us in preventing wildlife crime - report suspicious activity to Police Scotland on 101.

“Alternatively if you wish to remain anonymous information can be passed to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”