In his letter on bird protection (4 March) Alistair Harper suggests that magpies and crows are wiping out other species of birds. He praises his farming neighbour for trapping and killing crows and magpies on his farm.
He describes crows quartering grassland in search of the eggs and chicks of ground nesting birds. They are just as likely to be looking for leatherjackets (daddy long legs), other insects and worms which form a large part of their diet.
Corvids have co-existed for tens of thousands of years with waders, songbirds and ground- nesting birds without predating another species to extinction.
Larsen traps are often used to wipe out populations of native corvids to artificially increase the number of non-native pheasants which are reared and released to be shot.
That someone can cause local extinction to corvids over 500 acres by use of a Larsen trap only shows that it is time for a radical review of our very lax laws on the use of such traps.
John F Robins
Animal Concern Advice Line