Red kite shot dead in Co Down

Red kite fawkes shot NI MAY 2015A female red kite, born in Wales and released in Northern Ireland as part of the reintroduction project there, has been found shot dead.

The bird, named ‘Fawkes’, hatched in Wales in 2010 and was donated to the Northern Ireland Red Kite Reintroduction Project – she had been adopted by the Ballyclare High School in 2011 and staff and pupils from the school had been following the bird’s progress over the last few years.

Her corpse was discovered on 20th May 2015 near Katesbridge. She was discovered in a breeding territory belonging to two known breeders, both of whom have ‘disappeared’ in recent weeks.

News article on UTV here

The loss of this bird is a big blow to the reintroduction project. With an estimated 14 breeding pairs of red kites in Northern Ireland, and no plans for further release of additional birds to boost the numbers, this tiny population looks set for certain demise.

5 Responses to “Red kite shot dead in Co Down”

  1. 1 steve macsweeney
    July 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    There is bound to be the odd casualty whether we like it or not. The main thing is that these birds breed very successfully, we have over 100 roosting in woods in North hertfordshire, having seen the first bird 7 years ago.
    Lots of reasons to stay positive.

    • 2 Adam McClure
      July 8, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      The “odd casulty” is grand if there’s a viable population which is not the case in Northern Ireland. Thankfully it sounds as though numbers are doing well in Herts, but the population is worryingly low and extremely vulnerable. Numbers have not expanded as predicted and the loss of any bird, especially a bird of breeding age during the spring, could have an impact on the population.

  2. 4 Jimmy
    July 3, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    I hear there doing very well in the South of Ireland too

  3. 5 Chris Roberts
    July 4, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Unfortunately the Black Isle population I also fear is doomed to extinction, due to the vast numbers of killing estates surrounding it. Now with the Scottish government pandering to the SGA it seems almost inevitable.

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