HC Deb 09 November 1999 vol 337 c491W
Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if he will make a statement on the depredations by foxes on wildlife in St. James's Park and Green Park; [97220]

(2) how many of the Laysan Teal introduced to St. James's Park have (a) survived and (b) died; [97219]

(3) if he will make a statement on the cause of death of the Laysan Teal in St. James's Park. [97218]

Mr. Alan Howarth

Responsibility for the subject of these questions has been delegated to the Royal Parks Agency under its Chief Executive, Mr. David Welch. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from David Welch to Mr. Peter Bottomley, dated 19 November 1999: I have been asked by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to reply to your Parliamentary Questions about foxes and the numbers and fate of Laysan Teal in St. James's Park. No foxes actually live in St. James's Park or Green Park although they do regularly come into the parks. The nearest live in the grounds of Lancaster House and under a portacabin in the Treasury building compound. Foxes live largely on rodents, sick pigeons and refuse, which are readily available within the park. They only occasionally take birds and this is only really a problem in winter when the lake freezes over, allowing them to gain access to the two islands. To prevent this, the gamekeepers break the ice between the shore and the islands. Six Laysan Teal were introduced into the wildlife collection in St. James's Park about three years ago, of which only one is still alive. The other five have died over the last two years, but as the carcases have not been found it is not possible to say how they died.

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