A red kite released in the summer of 2001 as part of a programme to reintroduce the species to Britain was found poisoned later the same year. The rare bird of prey was found in the Balmagie area, north of Castle Douglas in Dumfries & Galloway, and was the 8th red kite to be poisoned in Scotland during 2001. The bird was one of 33 radio-tagged kites released this summer in Dumfries & Galloway. It is the fifth bird of prey that has been found poisoned in the area after the bodies of two buzzards, a tawny owl and a sparrowhawk were found.
Also in 2001, a red kite was found poisoned in the Borders, and six red kites were found poisoned on or near shotting estates in Perthshire, Stirlingshire and Inverness-shire.
Red kites were persecuted to extinction north and south of the border and were reintroduced into Scotland in the late 1980s. In 2001, there were around 40 breeding pairs.