A third red kite has been poisoned with a banned pesticide in Perthshire, police have said.
The dead bird was found on the edge of the Glenturret Estate near Crieff in August 2007.
Two other red kites have also been killed this year and tests have shown all the birds had eaten bait laced with carbofuran, which was outlawed in 2001.
Tayside Police have appealed for information about the deaths, which have been called “sickening” and “an absolute disgrace”.
The force’s wildlife and environment officer said those involved in the deaths should “hang their head in shame.” Alan Stewart said: “It is an absolute disgrace that a method commonly employed to kill birds of prey two centuries ago is still in use in 2007. Pesticides can easily kill people as well as wildlife yet these deadly baits are still left out in the open” He added that it would be “naive” to think the three dead red kites found in Tayside were the only poisoning incidents this year, as most baits and victims were never reported to the police.
Report in Strathearn Herald here
Red Kites were absent from Scotland’s skies for over a century due to human persecution. In 1989 a reintroduction programme was initiated by SNH and RSPB to bring this elegant bird of prey back. Although this programme has been successful it has been dogged by illegal poisoning. The red kite’s scavenging feeding habits make it especially vulnerable to this type of crime.