Much is said about General Licences whereby individuals and organisations can apply for a licence to control (kill) numbers of certain species, namely birds. I'd be the first to admit, that there may be situations where there will be benefit which results in the better good from a conservation status. However, I believe that killing certain species, purely to enable large numbers of introduced and artifically managed populations of game birds, solely so humans can then kill the game birds, is a practice best left in the past.
Each year, introduced pheasants and red-legged partridges in numbers thought to be between 41 and 50 million birds, an old estimate, it could be many, many more, are released into the wild in Britain. This equates to a biomass of 45,000 tons, more than double that of our native breeding birds, wow!
Unkown to me earlier, these came along later on Thursday. The Wild Justice challenge is comprehensive and deserves reading, click to open.
Wild Justice challenges gamebird releases and this Competence of pheasants as reservoirs for Lyme disease spirochetes. A scientific paper showing pheasants host Lyme Disease carrying ticks.
I won't rant here, instead I've posted a photo of each species of bird covered by the three SNH General Licences and looked up the BoCC4 rating, the current (2015) conservation status. Note, Stock Doves aren't in the general licences but are included as they are likely to be a mis-identified casualty.
Links to the licences and a 2017 Defra Report.
GL 01/2019: To kill or take certain birds for the conservation of wild birds
GL 02/2019: To kill or take certain birds for the prevention of serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables and fruit
GL 03/2019: To kill or take certain birds for the preservation of public health, public safety and preventing the spread of disease
Wild Bird Populations in the UK, 1970 to 2017: Defra
Canada Geese, introduced species, BoCC4 Amber list
Carrion Crow, BoCC4 Green list
Collared Dove, BoCC4 Green list
Feral Pigeon, BoCC4 Green list
Great Black-backed Gull, BoCC4 Amber list
Greylag Geese, BoCC4 Amber list, only feral populations covered
Herring Gull, BoCC4 Red list
Hooded Crow, BoCC4 Green list
Jackdaw, BoCC4 Green list
Jay, BoCC4 Green list
Lesser Black-backed Gull, BoCC4 Amber list
Magpie, BoCC4 Green list
Raven, BoCC4 Green list
Rook, BoCC4 Green list
Woodpigeon, BoCC4 Green list
Stock Dove, Amber list