您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 科学 >> 正文

苏格兰金雕的“失踪”之谜

更新时间:2018-7-25 15:42:12 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The mystery of Scotland's 'disappearing' eagles
苏格兰金雕的“失踪”之谜

It was late January when Fred disappeared. A young golden eagle, he would have had characteristic brown-gold feathers and of course that hooked bird-of-prey beak, bright lemon-coloured and black. Fred had been monitored near the Pentland Hills – not far from Edinburgh in Scotland.

一月下旬,弗雷德失踪了。这是一只壮年金雕,有独特的棕金色羽毛,还有猛禽那种黑灰色倒勾喙,边缘是亮黄色和黑色。在这之前,于苏格兰爱丁堡不远的彭特兰丘陵地带附近,弗雷德的行踪一直受到保护鸟类的生态人士的监视关注。

The previous summer, Ruth Tingay, from conservation group Raptor Persecution UK, had watched as a colleague fitted a tag to the raptor at its nest site. She had been tracking Fred’s movements ever since.

去年夏天,来自“英国猛禽迫害”(Raptor Persecution UK)护卫队的汀盖伊(Ruth Tingay),继她的同事在鹰巢中为这只金雕安置了跟踪器后,一直在关注其行踪。

The trip to the Pentlands was the furthest he’d been.

而飞往彭特兰之路是弗雷德历经的最远旅程。

“He’d only been gone from the nest site for three or four days,” she says. It was on 20 January 2018 when the signal went blank.

汀盖伊说,这只金鹰“离开鹰巢才三四天”,随后在 2018年1月20号失去了信号。

Then, unexpectedly, it returned four days later. But in a very strange place: about 10 miles out at sea near St Andrews. Quite far north-east from where Fred’s signal had last been seen, did it reveal that Fred had been killed and dumped at sea?

想不到四天后,追踪到它飞回来的信号,但信号发出的地点却令人相当奇怪——离圣安德鲁斯10公里外的海上。这里位于弗雷德最后测到信号地的东北方向,两地距离相当远。这是不是意味着,弗雷德已经被杀害、扔进了海里?

Conservationists despaired. Another disappearing golden eagle that seemed to have met a suspicious end. Raptors are sometimes killed by humans, but the perpetrators are notoriously difficult to catch. Police Scotland are now investigating Fred’s case.

鸟类保护者绝望了。这又是一只失踪的金雕,其结局令人起疑。猛禽有时是被人类杀害的,但行凶者很难被抓到。目前,苏格兰警方正在调查弗雷德失踪案件。

Scotland is home to various raptor species, but golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) are perhaps the most iconic. While their population in Scotland is generally doing well, they struggle to survive in some areas, particularly in the south of the country. One project is hoping to change that by translocating birds there from the highlands.

苏格兰是各类猛禽的栖息地,金鹰则是其代表。在苏格兰,尽管金雕数量基本还算可观,但在有些地区,尤其是南方,已难以生存。所以有一个项目打算将金雕迁徙出苏格兰高地,以拯救这类猛禽。

Other raptors are having an even tougher time – notably hen harriers, numbers of which are clearly declining. These birds, too, are sometimes killed illegally.

其它猛禽的日子更不好过。尤其是母鹞,数量明显下滑。这些鸟类同样也常死于非法捕猎。

But who is attacking Scotland’s raptors? And what, exactly, happened to Fred?

但是谁在攻击苏格兰猛禽呢?确切地问,弗雷德到底到底发生了什么事?

More signs of suspicious activity in Fred’s case were revealed after Raptor Persecution UK got in touch with the manufacturer of his tag. It had been set up to record GPS coordinates for the bird and also connect to nearby mobile phone masts. Ordinarily that mobile network data wouldn’t have been available to the conservationists, but the tag maker was able to provide access.

“英国猛禽迫害”护卫队和其跟踪器厂商取得联系后,披露了弗雷德案子更多可疑之处。设置后的跟踪器可以记录鸟类的GPS坐标,还能连到附近的手机信号塔。通常情况下,保护鸟类活动家无法获得移动网络数据,但跟踪器厂商可以提供访问权限。

The results were startling – during that period of absence late in January, it looked as though Fred had travelled east seemingly along a road, south of Edinburgh, and then north over the Firth of Forth and out towards St Andrew’s.

调查结果令人讶异。1月下旬弗雷德失踪的那段时间里,它看起来好像是沿着爱丁堡南部一条公路飞行,然后向北飞越福斯湾,再向圣安德鲁方向飞去。

“It showed a pretty clear direction of travel up to the North Sea,” says Tingay. The tag hasn’t transmitted any data since those last data points were collected. And it isn’t known whether it was still attached to Fred at the time of these mysterious movements, or whether it ultimately sank to the bottom of the sea. The trail, in other words, has gone cold.

汀盖伊说,“这很明显是在往北海的方向。自从上一次数据点采集后,跟踪器没有再传回数据。也不清楚在这许多神秘活动后,跟踪器是否还在弗雷德身上,还是说已经沉入海底。换句话说,这条探测路子已经没什么用了。”

“There are so few breeding golden eagles in south Scotland so he was an important bird,” says Tingay. “To lose him so soon after he left his natal [area]… is pretty shocking really.”

汀盖伊说,“南苏格兰繁殖的金雕非常少,所以弗雷德相当重要,它刚刚离开自己的出生地,我们就失去了它……真是太震惊了。”

The strange movements of Fred are “absolutely undoubtedly” a result of human interference, says Ian Thomson at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

皇家鸟类保护协会(RSPB)的汤姆森(Ian Thomson)说,弗雷德的奇异行踪“毫无疑问”是出于人类的干涉。

“We’ll probably never know exactly how it happened,” he adds. Thomson has been monitoring raptor killings in Scotland for years. He says there is a large weight of evidence linking the deaths to areas where grouse moors exist. There have been cases in which gamekeepers have killed raptors as a means of preventing them preying on grouse – which they need to retain in large numbers for the game shooting season.

他补充说,“我们很可能永远搞不懂这到底是怎么回事。”汤姆森数年来一直在苏格兰监测猛禽遭杀害的情况。他说有大量证据表明,猛禽的死亡和松鸡生活的沼泽地有关。在一些案例中,猎场看守员为了防止猛禽捕猎松鸡,便射杀猛禽来保证狩猎季节的沼泽地里有足够数量的松鸡供人猎杀。

Prosecutions are rare, though, and blame levelled at gamekeepers often proves controversial. According to a spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, the body has suspended six members over five years for wildlife crime offences.

尽管如此,起诉却很罕见。但若只是归咎于猎场看守人,也常充满争议。据苏格兰猎场看守人协会一名发言者所说,该协会在五年内已经因为伤害野生动物罪,停止了6位会员的会籍。

“As an organisation, we advocate only legal means to resolve species conflicts,” he adds. Part of the problem for anyone monitoring raptor deaths is that whoever is killing birds of prey seems to have become more determined to cover their tracks in recent years, explains Thomson.

该发言人补充道,“作为一个组织,我们只提倡通过合法手段解决物种冲突,” 汤姆森解释说,监视追踪猛禽死因难题之一是,近年来不管谁杀害了飞禽,都会设法掩饰其不法行为。

For example, he says the RSPB has evidence to suggest that raptors like golden eagles appear to be shot more often than they used to be – perhaps so the perpetrators can easily remove the carcass so less evidence is available to investigators.

他说,例如皇家鸟类保护协会有证据表明,金雕之类的猛禽被射杀的数量比以前有增加,许是因为行凶者很容易毁尸灭迹,所以研究人员很难发现其犯罪证据。

“In the last six or seven years there does appear to have been a significant move away from the illegal use of poisons,” adds Thomson.

汤姆森还说:“最近六七年,很明显不法分子已很少使用毒药的做法。”

Logan Steele, of the Scottish Raptors Study Group, agrees. “We’re finding a lot of birds with satellite tags disappearing, no bodies found,” he says.

苏格兰猛禽研究小组的斯蒂尔(Logan Steele)对此表示同意。“我们发现大量带有卫星跟踪器的鸟类失踪,但却找不到尸体。”

The group has tagged in excess of 150 birds in recent years, he adds. He’s currently monitoring data from a hen harrier that has just started to move about the country more widely. “I’m hoping it will survive,” he says.

他补充说,近年来该组织已经在150多只鸟身上做了电子跟踪标记。目前,他正在监测一只刚放飞的母鹞,收集其数据。他说,“我希望它能活下来。”

While there are those who would harm Scotland’s magnificent birds of prey, there are plenty of others working to protect these creatures wherever they can. Sadly, their work is still cut out for them, says Tingay: “It’s hard to know whether it’s improving or not but I certainly haven’t seen any evidence of a decline in persecution.”

虽然有人会伤害雄奇的苏格兰猛禽,但也有很多人,不论身居何处,只要有能力,都会都致力于保护鸟类。汀盖伊说:“不幸的是,保护鸟类人士们未来还要面对很多艰难的工作。 很难说一切是否会有改善,但如果要说对鸟类的杀害有所减少的话,我可是一点都没看到。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表