Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Young red kite dies from poisoning

A young red kite has died from poisoning in a similar manner to its mother

A young red kite has died from poisoning in a similar manner to its mother.

The bird, about 20 months old and nearing breeding age, was found lying almost dead in Wicklow town, close to the golf club and a public footpath and road.

It is the eleventh red kite to have died from poison.

Dr Marc Ruddock, of the Golden Eagle Trust and manager of the kite reintroduction project, said irresponsible and illegal use of poison has proven to have killed two generations of the same family.

"Every year we get tragic incidents like this. Illegally placing poison in the countryside puts wildlife, domestic animals and potentially members of the public at risk," he said.

Two highly-toxic banned pesticides, carbofuran and alphachloralose, were found in the bird, believed to be a female. It is suspected the bird had been feeding on carrion illegally laced with the chemicals.

The dead kite has been identified as Blue White 21 which fledged near the village of Redcross in 2011 and was the off-spring of Blue Purple G, an adult female poisoned by alphachloralose 13 months earlier near Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow.

Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, appealed to anybody who may have more information about the deaths of these birds.

"The pesticides used to poison these red kites were highly toxic. As soon as they were ingested these magnificent birds of prey - which are protected by law - would have had no chance of survival," he said.