Red kite reintroduced after 200 years and killed within weeks

A A A

An endangered bird of prey reintroduced to Northern Ireland after a 200-year absence has been found shot dead, it emerged yesterday.









The body of the red kite was discovered in a field near Castlewellan in Co Down, the police confirmed.



The bird was one of 27 kites released by the RSPB in the region in July at the start of a three-year reintroduction programme.



Wing tags and an identifying leg ring had been removed from the four-month old bird before it was recovered by the RSPB.



Dr Mark Avery, the RSPB’s director of conservation, said: “We are shocked and angered by the senseless killing of one of the recently released red kites.



“These magnificent birds were neither a threat to humans nor livestock, so we can only assume that whoever did this was either ignorant or gets a perverse sense of enjoyment from killing birds of prey.



“We believe that there will be much anger not only in Northern Ireland but right across the UK.



“Red kites are a globally threatened species and their reintroduction became a celebration of the return of an iconic species to Northern Ireland.”



Red kites were hunted to extinction in Ireland over 200 years ago.



Dr Avery added: “RSPB Northern Ireland had been working tremendously hard behind the scenes for a number of years to get the Red Kite Reintroduction Project off the ground, and we are determined to see it succeed.



“The message needs to be sent out that these birds should be a treasured addition to our countryside and not a target for illegal shooting.”



Primary school pupils were to have been offered the chance to track the life of the bird through the RSPB’s Adopt A Kite initiative.



PSNI Constable Alex Beck said: “Wildlife crime is taken seriously by the PSNI, and its significance cannot be underestimated.



“Red Kites, like all wild birds, are protected by law under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985. As such, any person involved in this type of crime could find themselves subject to a report to the Public Prosecution Service.”

This story originally appeared in the Belfast Telegraph

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Data Engineer

£35000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Data Engineer is required to ...

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence