A Barn Owl and Otters shot Dead at Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve

It is sad when this happens anywhere, but when it happens in the adjoining county of Herefordshire it is particularly pognient, especially as I posted on 3rd February about heron shootings on Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve:

 UK – Wildlife ‘shot dead’ on Herefordshire nature reserve.

Barn Owl Shot Dead on a Herefordshire Nature Reserve

 A COUNTY nature reserve popular with walkers has been targeted in a series of “shocking” attacks on wildlife.

This week, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust issued a desperate plea for help to stamp out a worrying increase in crime at Bodenham Lake, an important overwintering and breeding area for birds. A barn owl was reported to have been shot dead while the deaths of two otters found nearby are under investigation.

Development director at the trust John Clark described the attacks as “really shocking”.
He said: “This is getting ridiculous: an attack on a much-loved bird such as a barn owl.

“We want to flag up that there is a really serious rise in wildlife crime in the area.”
Autopsy results on the otters, found south of the lake near Wellington, are awaited from Cardiff University. 

 The many lakes and wetlands in the Lugg Valley provide a vital refuge for these mammals.
Any loss of breeding adults is considered a “serious blow” for the county population, said Mr Clark.

“We are all really upset about this, they have obviously been killed by humans,” he added, “This is a criminal issue which happened on the land we manage.” 

There has been particular dismay at the attack on a barn owl, a species not previously registered at Bodenham. In fact experts had hoped the arrival of a barn owl at the reserve could signal a new beginning for this protected bird in this area.

“This is a publicly accessible nature reserve, so we are promoting awareness. We want the public to be vigilant and report anything untoward to us,” said Mr Clark. “We know that otter trapping goes on and we have been dealing with it.” He said the trust was very concerned: “These malicious people are still at large in the countryside.”
Reports can be passed to Sophie Cowling, the trust’s living landscapes officer for the Lugg Valley.

The wildlife trust is also concerned at reports of American signal crayfish being illegally moved from the Lugg at Bodenham to other water courses in Herefordshire. This is said to pose a huge threat to native white clawed crayfish.

Anyone spotting a crayfish trap without an Environmental Agency licence tag can call 0800 80 70 60.


18 Comments on “A Barn Owl and Otters shot Dead at Bodenham Lake Nature Reserve

  1. It is absolutely disgraceful and dispiriting to read of such happenings. To those of us that have lived a large part of our lives in or adjacent to the countryside we know that these people exist and were for centuries responsible for the decline or near extinction of many sections of wildlife. The next move is to grasp the nettle and fight fire with fire. In the second world war we suddenly realized that our enemy was fighting to different rules while we were still playing by the laws of cricket. Only when we realized this and formed special services units did we begin to overcome the enemy.We must learn from this experience. These disreputable people really are the enemy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hard to ‘like’ this post, as the news is very shocking indeed. These senseless acts on our wild creatures are always a mystery to me. What kind of people kill defenceless creatures.

    I read somewhere, (can’t remember where) that humans are the only creatures that kill for sport. All birds, animals, reptiles etc only kill for food.


    • Killing for fun in this day and age does seem senseless. However, it’s not only humans that kill for fun. Damselfly naiads, predaceous mites, martens, weasels, honey badgers, wolves, orcas, red foxes, leopards, lions, spotted hyenas, spiders, brown and black and polar bears, coyotes, lynx, mink, raccoons, dogs, and house cats will all kill for more than they need when the opportunity a rises.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I imagine it’s very difficult to find those responsible for these crimes, but we are able to show others that the problem exists. It would be fantastic to post that the culprits have been apprehended, though.


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