After my guest blog for the RSPB on curlews, I noticed very little engagement. Is it too complex?
‘I’m agitated if, due to tribal posturing over who can ‘own’ the bird’s recovery, any delay on urgent curlew action will let it slip below critical and disappear.’
There have been some frank responses to my concerns, a tough issue that we seldom dig too far into.
“I understand where you are coming from. I think I know what **** are doing nationally and with local partners, I appreciate the **** role but I am not sure where **** fit in – the appeal page seems more targeted at politics than science or action. There is plenty of room for suspicious people to avoid collaboration – we need confident and open attention to this issue from people whose first inclination is to trust people.”
“I once put out informal feelers to a big wildlife charity and an big countryside group about a joint statement to government on natural connection. They both thought I was nuts, but actually I was naïve. Both have too many supporters who would rather resign than be associated with the other. So I ended up writing nothing.”
“The tribal thing runs deep – I recall a policy director of a well-known country organisation saying that publishing a joint report with us caused more resignations than even a subscription rise”
So we let farmland birds go to the wall purely because of partisan infighting? I was frowned upon for waving the joint RSPB/GWCT report in front of Defra’s Liz Truss at an APPG meeting but managed to get this reply from the then Secretary of State on sharing research.
Come on, we can be less tribal to save more wildlife!
(revised June 2017)