Concern is growing over the number of suspected red kite poisonings in Northern Ireland, following the discovery of a 4th bird last week in Castlewellan, County Down.
The birds were part of a reintroduction project, initiated by the RSPB in 2008 after persecution in the 18th century had caused their extinction. This reintroduction project has so far resulted in a small breeding population and this year it is believed seven pairs managed to successfully raise young. Three of the four birds found dead this year were breeding adults.
What is especially surprising, and shocking, about these deaths is that the RSPB do not yet know whether poisoning has been confirmed. Why not? Because they’re still waiting to receive the toxicology results from the lab…..one of these dates back to early January!
These toxicology results are crucial for understanding what’s going on in Castlewellan – we have been informed that three of the birds were picked up within the same valley – an area of approximately 1km2 – if the birds were poisoned, which seems likely, the team needs to know whether this was as a result of secondary poisoning (e.g. by eating rodents that have been poisoned with rodenticides) or whether the birds were deliberately and directly targeted with illegal poisons (such as Carbofuran). Without this information it is very difficult for the team to address the problem with the appropriate action.
The problem in Northern Ireland is not just limited to County Down – watch out for a press release next week concerning another red kite victim elsewhere in the country…
BBC news article here
3 thoughts on “Suspected red kite poisonings: 4 in Northern Ireland this year alone”
When go online every day, I dread facing the emails from all the animal welfare, conservation and tribal protection groups I belong and donate to. Each one carries the same dirge of death of some species threatened by poachers, poisoners, snarers or shooters. With tribal peoples, it is their genocide by ranchers and mineral extractors wanting rid of them from protected areas. Each story is a stab in the heart for those who love the Earth and its diversity of Life. 400 rhinos killed in South Africa, so far, this year alone, plus whole herds of elephants; Orang Utans found injured or dying where once rainforests stood; cetaceans slaughtered; it goes on and on, without remission. Back in good old backward Scotland, we have the grand work of those who want to reintroduce our raptors, dashed, with more deaths of Red Kites, Eagles, Buzzards, Hen Harriers etc. Also diminishing bird life, is the massive shooting of birds migrating across North Africa and southern European countries, with the July National Graphic Magazine covering that atrocity.
Then there is disappearance of butterflies, bees and other insects. The Wildcat is going, and it will not be long before the same bloodlust against badgers as down in England, starts here, with the callous and ignorant killing of those animals, in addition to those through badger baiting.
In the UK, several million people are members of animal welfare and conservation organisations, yet, those in government, national and local, seem to favour those who perpetrate abuse of animals and wildlife crime. Those who own large areas of our landscape, and use it for shooting game birds, seem to have an inordinate influence, and allegations have been made of police, judiciary and government bodies’ bias towards those who have violated the laws regarding protected species. Can not all these animal welfare and conservation groups unite and create a massive demand for whatever junta is in power, to take the protection of our endangered species more seriously? What appalls me is the brooding overlordship of those who want total domination of what lives and dies in the Scottish countryside, and rest of British landscape. They seem to have penetrated every decision-making body, so that their vested interests are protected. World wide there is a great anger and frustration along with a sadness, that wildlife conservationists are fighting a losing battle, with wars, organised crime, trophy hunting, corrupt officials and politicians, making fortunes.
I suggest that we stop trying to reintroduce Red Kites and White-tailed Eagles, as the poor birds are targets for those who cannot tolerate them in the environment. It is cruel to continue with such work, and it will even have to be accepted that there are no-go areas for birds of prey in Scotland and the rest of the UK. That way, we could concentrate on those areas where benign and cooperative estates would work with conservationists to protect what we have got, and be content with that. At present, we are battling against people who too much influence and power. Some day there will have to be a political answer to whom owns Scotland, and to remove those who will not comply with conservation policies. We should not expect sentences that deter those from killing protected wildlife, as many other crimes are going unsolved, fines unpaid and sentences risible. Birds and animals come away at the bottom of the list of priorities, and deliberately engineered that way. That God there are courageous people and organisations who fight against this state of affairs, and but for them, a greater form of Hell would exist for sentient creatures. So, let us cut the vanity of thinking we can win against impossible odds of building viable populations of certain birds of prey.
It has been suggested that RSPB membership numbers are far greater than the membership numbers of all UK political parties combined, so if the RSPB truly wanted to help end raptor slaughter, then they could easily harness the energy of their 1 million+ members, and form a coalition with other conservation and anti-cruelty organisations in a long-running campaign. Who knows, within ten years time, driven grouse shooting could be banned.
Sadly, the RSPB don’t seem to be interested in this approach, as shown by their recent television advert.
When are the police going to take action? Clearly they don’t care after all that’s happend in this area. Wake up rspb and see the truth get a grip.
[Ed: Thanks for your comment, Jay. Some parts have had to be edited/removed because they were potentially libellous].