Red kite shot dead in West Yorkshire – police appeal 4 months later

Red Kite shot N Yorks Oct 2013Police are appealing for information four months after the discovery of a dead red kite in West Yorkshire.

The one year old bird was found by a footpath on the River Wharfe between Wetherby and Harewood last October. It had been shot.

The news about this bird’s death emerged via the BBC Look North (Yorkshire) Facebook page a couple of days ago (as highlighted on the Birders Against Wildlife Crime Facebook page).

We’ve looked elsewhere for a press release but can’t find anything, either from October or now, including on the West Yorks Police website and police local community news sites.

What’s the point of waiting for four months before appealing for information? Why, after all the reassurances that ‘wildlife crime is a police priority’, are we still seeing these poor responses?

West Yorks Police have previously been applauded for their reaction to suspected raptor persecution in their area, and deservedly so (see here).


13 thoughts on “Red kite shot dead in West Yorkshire – police appeal 4 months later”

  1. Are we going to be fed the usual shite about this being an ongoing investigation or are we to speculate they were hoping this would just disapear and not appear as another unsloved crime statistic

  2. It’s becoming obvious by now that the long delays in publicising information regarding Raptor crimes are done purposely to avoid the possibility that someone may be caught and prosecuted for it. I can’t think of any other crimes where the police would delay putting out a public request for information weeks or months after the event.

  3. Chris, Red Kites do well on the Black Isle, as well as if not better than anywhere else in Britain. Its when they venture south on to the grouse moors that they are poisoned & generally persecuted.

    1. If they are doing so well Black Jack, please answer me this; In the early 1980’s 90 pairs, I believe, were re-introduced to both the Black Isle and the Chilterns. The Chiltern population has expanded, again I believe, to well over 1,500 pairs whereas the Black Isle population is a paltry 140 pairs (if that). The only difference between the two locations are grouse moors, this fact speaks for itself.
      Where I live, Aviemore, these birds should by now have re-colonised, but due to the estates south of Inverness have been prevented from doing so.
      My MP Danny Alexander was most surprised to learn of this when I informed him, and confirmed that he sees many kites on his drive to Checkers, yet if I drive through the Black Isle I feel lucky if I see even one!

      Above is a very bad indictment of the way Scotland looks after its wildlife.

  4. Black Jack and Chris..I believe you are both actually agreeing with each other!..Calm down!

    ..the whole population up there is referred to as The Black Isle kites..agree with all that’s being said about the grouse moors..but would like to add that in 1989 shortly after the first 6 birds were released one was found poisoned [by alphachloralose], on the Black Isle…a search of a local gamekeeper found alphachloralose in an outbuilding but back in those days the law didnt cover possession, only use of poisons. Fiscal had to drop the the gamekeeper is obviously Not Guilty….happened a lot back then.
    I hope the Black Isle is now poison free..but there have been several persecution cases in that low ground pheasant shooting part of the Highlands.

  5. The limiting factor in the Black Isle (& Easter Ross) population according to a 2010 study by Smart,J, Amar,A, Sim,I, Etheridge, Cameron, D, & Christe, G, : the red kite Milvus milvus.Biol. Conser.143:1278-1286…illegal poisoned baits on Scottish grouse moors resulted poor survival of dispersing young kites & hence poor annual recruitment in to the breeding population. Its no coincidence that the Chilterns is the furthest population from any grouse moor. The “Chilterns” population has expanded well outside the Chilterns. The Black Isle pairs(61 last year) are has productive as any pairs in Britain, if not more so.The B I population is virtually persecution free. Unfortunately once the young leave that core area & venture over the grouse moors young they are subject to illegal persecution. When I drive to & from work I can see numerous buzzards, though some times on the same route I don’t see any. Casual observations don’t count for much. Has I said before kites do well on the B I & if their dispersing young had not been annually persecuted for over 3 decades on the moors south of Inverness they may well be breeding by Chris’s Aviemore. Well done Chris for informing your MP. I’d be interested what he proposes to do about it. And I’d be interested to hear what your MSP has to say about it, especially has I believe he’s a senior member of the present Scottish Government & can have more influence on these matters.

    1. Thanks for that information. Yes I must ask my MSP Dave Thompson about this. I only took the opportunity to mention red kites to my MP as I was seeing him on a unrelated topic (pensions).
      Do you Black Jack or Dave, know if the red kites are recolonizing towards the Glen Affric direction. They obviously wont come my way until driven grouse shooting goes the same way as bear baiting and fox hunting!

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