A British man was recently jailed for stealing almost 700 bird eggs from nests throughout England. Stealing the eggs killed the chicks inside because they were no longer being incubated by adult birds. He stole seven golden eagle eggs, three red kite, three peregrine, eight osprey and many others containing the offspring of endangered or protected species. He also stole eagle eggs from Scotland.
One of the detectives on the case said, “This is one of the most serious cases of wildlife crime I have had to investigate. Gonshaw’s actions directly jeopardise Britain’s wildlife and his obsession with collecting eggs threatens some of our rarest and most precious species. We hope that this result here at court sends out a clear message that, together with our partners from the RSPB, we will work to protect Britain’s birds for future generations.” (Source: Daily Mirror)
Destroying viable eggs, sets back the fragile progress achieved by biologists working to restore populations of wild birds that have been persecuted mercilessly and driven down to very low levels for no good reason. Osprey fly all the way from Africa to lay eggs in the U.K. but some of their eggs were stolen by the obsessive thief.
He had been arrested three times previously for the same crime of egg stealing, and was given just six months this time. One would imagine for a repeat offender on his fourth jailing for a destructive crime on a mass scale, the penalty would be much larger. Additionally, it probably should include some kind of electronic home monitoring, and mental health intervention or the destructive hoarding appears likely to continue.
In Sweden a man who caught 13,000 wild birds was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He also did a great amount of damage to natural ecosystems biologists work very hard to maintain.
Photo by Tom Oates, 2009., modified by User:P. S. Burton- WikiCommons