Scourge of the Birdman: A real life game of cat and mouse - Softcover
Ben Tarvie has been passionate about birds and their natural behaviour since he was 6 years' old. Born into a generation where egg collecting was a normal boyhood past-time, which was further encouraged through wildlife programmes and books, inlcuding the memorable 'Observer's Book of Bird's Eggs. When Ben turned 18 he took a job at the Welsh Hawking Centre and soon realised that it was an environmentally destructive hobby, fusing his interest in photography with his love of ornithology, he became a nest photographer.Scourge of the Birdman is a tale of how a young man being in the wrong place at the wrong time, led to him being accused and convicted of disturbing a peregrine falcon and attempting to rob its eggs. This changed his life in an instant, and not only threw him off course, but saw him become stigmatised by the media and wildlife authorities. Scourge of the Birdman is a harrowing account of how Ben went into a downward spiral and had to battle for the next 20 years to clear his name, with some unexpected twists and turns along the way, to be able to do what he loved and be taken seriously as a conservationist.There are a handful of books that have been written about wildlife crime but they have been penned by those considered to be operating on the 'right side of the law' RSPB officers and Police from the National Wildlife Crime Unit. They relay stories of successful captures, court cases and convictions of all types of wildlife crime. This book shows the perspective of the accused in relation to the crime of nest disturbance, it is a personal account of encounters with the law, accusations, build up to court cases, the outcome of those cases and the practises that take place once an individual is on the radar of those whose job it is to apprehend wildlife criminals.It is an opportunity to see that this is a fascinating area of UK legislation and how someone who is actually for it can fall foul of it despite trying desperately to prove how much they care about nature and are keen to educate.The second part of this book cites other incidences of egg theft and nest disturbance which allows further analysis and comparison of the author's experience and true motivations, compared to those who are merely obsessed and enjoy the thrill of plundering nests and 'beating the system'.
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