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Derbyshire developer who bulldozed bungalow knowing it was home to bats avoids jail

Three birds of prey found dead in Staffordshire Moorlands

Appeal for information after injured buzzard found near Kirkby Malzeard in North Yorkshire

Illicit wildlife products 'slipping through the net'

Suspended sentence for seafood salesman who smuggled £53m worth of live eels out of UK

Somerset campsite owner jailed after he deliberately shot dead an otter trapped in a fishing net

Seafood salesman convicted of eelegally smuggling £53million worth of European eels through the UK

Siamese crocodile skulls found in raids by Kent police

Avon & Somerset appoint new Wildlife Crime Officer

Cheltenham antiques dealer sentenced for trading illegally in elephant tusks and walrus ivory

Maidstone men jailed after deer stabbed repeatedly in the throat and animal cruelty

Welsh man handed suspended jail term after interfering with badger sett

Suspected hare courser causes high-speed police chase in Cambridgeshire

Dorset wildlife crime officer recognised in New Year Honours list

Forensic science techniques used in battle against wildlife crime across Scotland

Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the work of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

Northern Irish man accused of selling more than 200 animals including lions, crocodiles and great white shark

Walsall owl breeder told his good character saved him from prison sentence

Pinpointing rural & wildlife crime with what3words

Illegal trade in endangered species - trial date set in Lancashire


Home / How do we prioritise? / Seasonal Considerations

Seasonal Considerations


Month Season Factors to Consider
January Winter Will eat least during this period
February Winter Will eat least during this period
March Spring Main breeding season
April Spring Cubs will emerge from the sett
May Spring Cubs will emerge from the sett
June Summer Drier months – likely to leave sett to find food
July Summer Drier months – likely to leave sett to find food
August Summer Drier months – likely to leave sett to find food
September Autumn Will eat most during this period
October Autumn Will eat most during this period
November Autumn Will eat most during this period
December Winter Will eat least during this period


Month Season Factors to Consider
January Winter Hibernating
February Winter Hibernating but some may leave the roost
March Spring Will begin to emerge
April Spring Out of hibernation
May Spring Fully active and feeding
June Summer Females give birth to single pups
July Summer Young pups learn to fly
August Summer Summer maternity colonies begin to disperse
September Autumn Mating season
October Autumn More mating and seek suitable hibernation sites
November Autumn Some begin to hibernate
December Winter Hibernating


Month Season Factors to consider
January Winter Attach themselves to the gills of fish and remain as a parasite until spring
February Winter Attach themselves to the gills of fish and remain as a parasite until spring
March Spring The young and fully developed mussels drop off the fish host
April Spring The young and fully developed mussels drop off the fish host
May Spring The young and fully developed mussels drop off the fish host
June Summer Criminal activity more like as water is shallow
July Summer Criminal activity more like as water is shallow
August Summer Criminal activity more like as water is shallow
September Autumn Criminal activity more like as water is shallow
October Autumn Attach themselves to the gills of fish and remain as a parasite until spring
November Autumn Attach themselves to the gills of fish and remain as a parasite until spring
December Winter Attach themselves to the gills of fish and remain as a parasite until spring


Month Season Factors to Consider
January Winter Least risk, though some spring fish around. (Salmon fishing season January – November, depending on river)
February Winter Least risk, though some spring fish around
March Spring Moderate risk, with more spring salmon entering rivers
April Spring Moderate risk. Spring run of salmon often a target.
May Spring Moderate risk. Spring run of salmon remain a target.
June Summer Greatest risk, as salmon numbers can build up in pools at times of low water
July Summer Greatest risk, as salmon numbers can build up in pools at times of low water
August Summer Greatest risk, as salmon numbers can build up in pools at times of low water
September Autumn Greatest risk, as salmon numbers can build up in pools at times of low water, especially in Scottish Rivers
October Autumn Moderate risk
November Autumn Least risk, except where there may be a late salmon run of lower water (River Almond Perthshire)
December Winter Least risk


Month Season Factors to Consider
January Winter Highest risk especially for red and roe deer, despite being the close season for females of both species
February Winter Highest risk especially for red and roe deer. Pregnant female roe especially vulnerable, feeding into daylight hours.
March Spring Least risk posed during late spring to summer, though pregnant female roe still vulnerable, feeding into daylight hours.
April Spring Least risk posed during late spring to summer
May Spring Least risk posed during late spring to summer
June Summer Least risk posed during late spring to summer
July Summer Red deer and sika stags can legally be shot during this period
August Summer Red deer and sika stags can legally be shot during this period
September Autumn Red deer and sika stags can legally be shot during this period
October Autumn Red deer and sika stags can legally be shot up to 20th October
November Autumn Highest risk especially for red and roe deer
December Winter Highest risk especially for red and roe deer


Month Season Factors to consider
January Winter Moderate coursing risk, which can be limited by hard frost
February Winter Moderate coursing risk, which can be limited by hard frost. Breeding season begins. (Brown hares protected in Scotland 1 Feb – 30 Sept)
March Spring High coursing risk. Litters born
April Spring High coursing risk
May Spring Moderate coursing risk, curtailed by height of crops
June Summer Moderate coursing risk, mostly restricted to cut silage fields and young pea crops.
July Summer Moderate coursing risk, mostly restricted to cut silage and hay fields.
August Summer High coursing risk. Harvest beginning, with more exposed fields
September Autumn High coursing risk, with crops cut and new crops being sown
October Autumn High coursing risk, with crops cut and new crops being sown
November Autumn High coursing risk, with crops cut and new crops being sown
December Winter Moderate coursing risk, with open fields though risk of hard frost


Raptors – Shooting and Traps

Month Season Factors to Consider Additional Information
January Winter Moderate risk. Shooting season but a few corvid traps in operation Some species, such as the Hen Harrier, winter on lowland coastal areas and have been targeted during Autumn/winter in these areas.
Other Species such as Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Goshawk and Tawny Owl may be targeted ahead of and coincident with Pheasant/Partridge rearing seasons. Targeting can include shooting, trapping, snaring and poisoning in and around rearing pens, both ahead of, and when they are occupied by poults.
February Winter Greatest risk. Shooting season ended and some corvid traps beginning to be used
March Spring Greatest risk in line with the nesting season and use of corvid traps
April Spring Greatest risk in line with the nesting season and use of corvid traps
May Spring Greatest risk in line with the nesting season and use of corvid traps
June Summer Moderate risk – shooting newly-fledged raptors and continuing use of traps for rooks/jackdaws
July Summer Moderate risk
August Summer Greatest risk, as young game birds released and grouse shooting starts on the 12th August
September Autumn Greatest risk, in protection of young game birds. Partridge shooting and wildfowling starts
October Autumn Moderate risk. Pheasant shooting starts
November Autumn Moderate risk
December Winter Moderate risk

Raptors – Poisoning

Month Season Factors to Consider
January Winter Moderate risk, though baits in times of deep snow are seldom found
February Winter High risk, as shooting finished and pest control starts
March Spring High risk, as pest control continues
April Spring High risk, as pest control continues
May Spring Moderate risk, as some pesticides work less well as weather warms up
June Summer Moderate risk
July Summer Low risk
August Summer Moderate risk in advance of grouse shooting starting
September Autumn Low risk
October Autumn Low risk
November Autumn Low risk
December Winter Low risk

Raptors – Nest Destruction

Month Season Factors to Consider Additional Information
January Winter Least risk Persecution of raptors can take place at any time of the year, but can be particularly prevalent from March to August. The main breeding season for raptors is from April onwards, but there are several birds, such as Golden Eagles that nest earlier. Most raptors also start making their territories earlier and can be at risk of disturbance at this time.
Intelligence suggests that Hen Harriers are regularly disturbed before they actually nest and lay eggs. They often winter on lowland coastal areas and have been targeted there.
February Winter Least risk
March Spring Overall nesting season
April Spring Overall nesting season
May Spring Overall nesting season
June Summer Overall nesting season
July Summer Overall nesting season
August Summer Least risk
September Autumn Least risk
October Autumn Least risk
November Autumn Least risk
December Winter Least risk