North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after the discovery of yet another illegally shot red kite that was found at the weekend.
Press release as follows:
Police are urging members of the public to support them in the fight against red kite persecution, after another bird was found shot last weekend.
On the morning of Sunday 22 May, a walker on Hall Lane, Blubberhouses, found an injured red kite, in distress and unable to fly. They contacted a wildlife charity, and the bird was taken to a specialist avian vet in Harrogate.
Examination revealed the bird had been shot and had a shattered wing. Sadly, its injury was so severe, it had to be euthanised. The shooting may have taken place a few days before the bird was found.
In the last two months, five red kites in North Yorkshire have been shot or died in circumstances that suggest poisoning, as well as three further afield in the region.
Of those eight red kites, five have been shot. One, found near Malton, was rehabilitated and released back to the wild, but the other four were so badly injured they had to be euthanised by a vet. The three suspected poisoned birds are being examined by the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme.
PC Gareth Jones, Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator at North Yorkshire Police, said: “Red kites were persecuted into virtual extinction in the UK, but in recent years they have been re-introduced through breeding programmes at a number of locations nationally. In Yorkshire, they have spread from their release site at Harewood House, and are now breeding over a large area. Red kites are scavengers, and normally eat carrion, their favourite food being rats and rabbits.
“Red kites are magnificent birds than can be regularly seen soaring over our area, bringing pleasure to many people. They are a Schedule 1 bird and as such are afforded special protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. I am personally saddened by the scale of persecution of these birds – it has to stop, and I would ask for anyone who can help this investigation to get in touch.”
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for PC Gareth Jones, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Well done North Yorks Police for getting this information out so quickly – kite found on Sunday, press release out the following day, including a photograph, and with additional context about other recent red kite deaths to put this crime in to perspective. That’s excellent work.
The injured kite was found at the edge of Nidderdale AONB, just to the east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This is driven grouse-shooting country – check out the tell-tale rectangular strips of burnt heather on the map – and it’s also a well-known black spot for the illegal poisoning of red kites. Oh, and satellite-tagged hen harriers also ‘mysteriously’ disappear here.
Over 38,000 people have now signed the petition calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting. Please add your name HERE