Poison brings down red kites
Friday 26 April 1996
The carrion-eating bird became extinct in England and Scotland at the end of the last century because of persecution by gamekeepers and farmers, with only a small population clinging on in Wales.
Four of the dead birds were found in southern England, near where most of the imported birds have been set free. The other was found in the Midlands, where nine young kites were released last summer in an attempt to establish a second breeding population in England.
One of the birds was found dead on its nest. All are thought to have eaten bait left out in the open and laced with alpha chloralose, a rodenticide.
However, the bait was probably intended to kill foxes or ravens rather than the red kite. The practice of setting out poisoned meat in the countryside is illegal but still widespread.
Barbara Young, chief executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds which has been sponsoring the reintroductions, said: "I'm appalled by the thoughtless and illegal use of poisons which is jeopardising the success of this highly important reintroduction project."
Since 1989, almost 200 young red kites have been released in southern England and northern Scotland in a joint programme between the society and government wildlife conservation organisations.
The new arrivals have begun breeding in both countries and their population is building up. But poisoned bait had killed birds before this year, and in 1995 another was found to have been wounded by shotgun pellets.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
Rapper Ja Rule forced to deny leaving his wife for prison cell mate
Ten best places to live in the UK: Solihull comes top
Mysterious glowing ‘alien-like creature’ spotted in waters of Bristol Harbour. A jellyfish - or something fishy?
From 'terrorist' to tea with the Queen
Nelson Mandela death: his life in pictures
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Video: Students 'punched and dragged to the ground by their hair' as police break up demonstration
- 5 Cannabis can cause man boobs, US surgeon claims
£29999 - £39999 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A fantastic oppor...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: VB.NET SQL CSS Develop...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Server Side De...
£21000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Graduate QA/Graduate T...