Ross-shire raptor death toll rises to 13….and counting

Red Kite Mali HallsIn what looks increasingly to be a mass poisoning incident, the number of dead raptors found in the Conon Bridge /Muir of Ord area has now reached 13, including at least 9 red kites, according to RSPB Scotland’s Director.

It’s not over by a long way…

Previous blogs here and here

UPDATE 1300hrs: Police Scotland has confirmed the first six of these birds to be tested (so far) have come back as positive for having been poisoned.


13 thoughts on “Ross-shire raptor death toll rises to 13….and counting”

  1. Again, well done to the search team for their persistence. The tip of a bloody big iceberg, but a sickening and significant tip non-the less. At this time of year those criminals intent on killing raptors will ramp up their slaughter with the hope of disrupting mating and nesting.

    With tourism bringing in millions for Scottish Government every year this could be a disaster, with many people who had planned to visit the highlands to see the wildlife staying well away after hearing of this mass slaughter of one of the UK’s most protected species. They will probably be considering the fact that poison may have been involved also and would prefer not to take the risk with their families venturing into the Scottish countryside.

    Again, we would hope to see posters going up in villages and towns, close to where these birds were found, once the results have concluded cause of death and which we are certain will be a criminal cause. Alerting the local communities of these crimes as well as warning them of the dangers of possible lethal poisons in the area will help to put pressure on those criminals who often live within that same community. It will also educate the community to the fact that these practices are occurring in there area and to be looking out for them. There is no doubt that there will be an impact on tourism in the direct area where these birds were discovered and so locals should be made aware of this fact, which may encourage them to come forward with information related to these crimes. Project Raptor carried out a similar poster and leafleting campaign last year in South Lanarkshire, which we felt was effective and encouraged much debate in the local area as well as further afield.

  2. A great speedy turn around for the investigation into cause of death. Let us hope that Police Scotland now keep this up in the future and can continue to get results back for suspected poisoned raptors in days, like they have done here, rather than the weeks that it usually takes.

  3. I assuming all relevant establishments have been raided by police in the last few days or I’m I being naive

  4. The incident needs to be a catalyst for change. What percentage of the Black Isle population is this? It is little wonder that the number of breeding pairs has increased slowly.

    Actions for Paul Wheelhouse:
    stop the sham that is PAW Scotland – it gives SLE and SGA some credibility that they do not deserve.They have made no progress in influencing or changing the behaviour of their members;
    give greater powers to the SSPCA – as was promised;
    allow surveillance evidence;
    make a single person accountable for each trap;
    use the provisions already available under vicarious responsibility.

    If this incident does not produce a response from the Environment Minister what hope is there?

  5. Do we know what the poison is? Being a critic of Police Scotland & Scottish Government over the months that go by before persecution incidents are made public I pleased that they have acted promptly in their announcement in this instance.

  6. I don’t understand why this isn’t national news.
    Has there been a mass poisoning on this scale before?
    As others have commented surely this is a wake up call to Wheelhouse. Whatever he’s doing, isn’t working.

  7. It’s too late for the chief of police and Wheelhouse to back out of this one, if they don’t come out and be seen to be doing something positive this time then their heads should definitely roll. Their total disregard for ensuring justice prevails proves they might just as well scrap the wildlife protection laws for what good they are at present.

  8. Posted on an earlier thread, but as the story has moved on – can someone point me to the case/law regarding covert evidence? I’ve used it several times previously in another area to secure convictions, but that was pre-HRA/RIPSA.

  9. With Owen Paterson in charge no hope for Wildlife Cameron only knows about Scotland because he kills deer there for fun

  10. xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

    [Ed: Thanks for your comment – unfortunately we can’t publish it at this time].

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