Police in Northern Ireland are appealing for information about the suspected poisonings of 3 buzzards in two separate incidents.
In the first incident (April 2013!) a dead buzzard was found on land at Drumdreenagh Road in the Hilltown area of Warrenpoint, County Down. We happen to know that this bird was found with a dead red kite which has since been confirmed as being poisoned with Carbofuran.
The second incident (October 2013) was also in the Hilltown area – this time two buzzards were found dead on land in the Lisnamulligan Road.
Anyone with information can contact the police in Warrenpoint on 0845-600-8000. Article in Newry Times here.
It’s more than a little concerning that the police appeal for information has only just appeared and that the cause of death has not yet been confirmed – poisoning is still only suspected at this stage. We’ve blogged before about the excessively long delays in getting toxicology results from the lab in Northern Ireland (e.g. see here) and it seems reasonable to assume from the information provided in the latest press release that this is an on-going problem. Such slow response times can only hinder the police investigations, and also the work of the conservationists trying to assess whether the buzzards were deliberately targeted or were the unintended victims of secondary poisoning.
Another dead buzzard that was found in Castledawson, Co. Londonderry in March 2013 has been confirmed as being poisoned with Carbofuran. The police put out an appeal for information about this incident in October 2013 (article here).