The charity points out that in the last two years only one person has been convicted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for killing a bird of prey. As a result, the RSPB is now calling for an independent review of driven grouse shooting in England and for grouse moors to be licensed across the UK.Martin Harper, conservation director at the charity, said: “The driven grouse shooting industry has, despite decades of warnings, failed to put its house in order – most shockingly turning a blind eye to the ongoing illegal persecution of birds of prey. “Given we face a climate and ecological emergency, we believe it is time for governments to intervene. A first step should be, as is happening in Scotland, independent reviews of driven grouse shooting for the rest of the UK. Ultimately, the RSPB believes that change will only come through regulation.”Landowners, shooting organisations and anti-RSPB groups rejected the report’s findings.Ian Gregory, spokesman for You Forgot The Birds, said: “This is a cynical spin operation from a charity which cares more about headlines than showing what is going on with nature. The charity’s own figures show that UK bird crime has been on a falling trend this decade.“This trend was made even more obvious this month when Natural England declared that 2019 has been ‘a record breaking’ year for hen harriers.” Carcass of a golden eagle found poisoned in ScotlandCredit:RSPB Mark Thomas, Head of Investigations UK at the RSPB, said: “The illegal and widespread killing of birds of prey has gone on for too long. Current legislation and sentences are proving woefully inadequate and offering absolutely no deterrent to those who want to see birds of prey eradicated from our hills.”Mr Thomas added: “Urgent and meaningful change is needed to the way our uplands are managed, to put an end once and for all to illegal killing and bring back biodiversity to these landscapes. Enough is enough.”The Birdcrime 2018 report also raises concerns over the environmental impact of intensive grouse shooting, including the burning of carbon-rich habitats which increases flood risks and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Figures from the RSPB’s latest Birdcrime report reveals that in 2018, 31 buzzards, 27 red kites and 6 peregrines were illegally shot, trapped or poisoned on land managed for driven grouse shooting. Hen harriers and owls were also illegally killed in disturbing numbers. The report follows anger after a gamekeeper convicted of killing protected birds of prey in Scotland avoided jail term last week.Alan Wilson, 60, pleaded guilty to shooting and trapping badgers, an otter, goshawks and buzzards and installing 32 illegal snares in a small wood on a grouse and pheasant shooting estate at Longformacus, in the Borders.That came amid widespread concern over a young golden eagle photographed flying in the Crathie area of Deeside with a heavy steel trap attached to its leg.Sixty-seven (77%) of last year’s recorded deaths took place in England, with 12 in Scotland, five in Wales, three in Northern Ireland. Despite this, only one incident, from a 2017 investigation, resulted in a conviction during the year. He added: “The RSPB chooses not to congratulate the shooting sector for getting its house in order but to keep attacking it because the alternative would a focus on its own failings. This is the charity which has for 7 years refused to publish the number of birds on its 200 reserves.” An illegally set spring trap on moorland found by RSPB investigatorsCredit:RSPB The report says the worst locations for illegal killing of birds are the uplands of the Peak District, North Yorkshire and southern Scotland, where the land is managed by landowners and their staff for driven grouse shooting. The report finds that on some grouse moors, birds of prey and other protected species are routinely and illegally trapped, shot and poisoned, in contravention of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which protects all birds of prey. Intelligence and scientific data from satellite tagging of birds suggests many more birds than have been recorded will have been killed and not found, with the figures offering what the charity describes as “only a glimpse into a far larger problem”.A recently published ten-year scientific study using Natural England data revealed 72% of satellite-tagged hen harriers were confirmed or considered very likely to have been illegally killed. It also found that hen harriers are ten times more likely to die or disappear over grouse moors, where birds of prey are often considered a threat to red grouse stocks. Short-eared owl shot in Peak District Credit:RSPB Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The number of birds of prey illegally trapped and poisoned on moorland has more than tripled in the past two years, new figures have revealed.A report by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has found that growing numbers of birds of prey are being illegally shot, trapped and poisoned on shooting estates, amid claims those responsible are growing increasingly confident of evading prosecution.The report published on Thursday reveals that 87 birds of prey were killed last year, including buzzards, red kites and peregrines.That is an increase on the figure of 68 birds of prey known to have been killed illegally the previous year, with at least 81 killed in 2016.However the charity fears the true figure could be far higher, with many illegal killings going undetected or unreported. The report found that in 2017 16 birds of prey were trapped or poisoned on land managed for driven grouse shooting, with the numbers jumping to 54 killed by those methods the following year.The RSPB has now called for tougher legislation and enforcement to act as a deterrent to those who believe they can get away with killing birds of prey without fear of punishment.