Tayside and Central Scotland

Wild bird egg thieves targeted in Tayside

Police and conservationists in Tayside have asked the public to report any suspicious activity to help prevent the theft of wild bird eggs in the region.

Officers said criminals targeting currently-nesting birds' eggs could have "serious consequences" for the survival of rare species.

Police Scotland and RSPB Scotland said they should be alerted to anyone acting suspiciously around wildlife reserves.

Wild birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law.

'Vulnerable locations'

Det Insp Paul Riley, of Tayside Division's wildlife crime unit, 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 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."

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