Belfast Telegraph

Experts turn to GPS in war on bird crime

Satellite tracking devices will be fitted to birds of prey and nesting site surveillance installed to combat wildlife crime. (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Satellite tracking devices will be fitted to birds of prey and nesting site surveillance installed to combat wildlife crime. (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By David Reed

Satellite tracking devices will be fitted to birds of prey and nesting site surveillance installed to combat wildlife crime.

The Hawk-Eyes technology project is being launched by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime Northern Ireland (PAW NI).

Its 10 Years of Persecution Report reveals that from 2009 to 2018, 72 incidents of confirmed raptor persecution took place in Northern Ireland.

This resulted in the death or injury of 66 birds and the destruction of two nesting sites.

Buzzards and red kites are the most common victims.

PAWNI partner Dr Eimear Rooney, from the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group, said: "We are confident the satellite tracking devices, which will provide near real-time remote tracking of the birds to monitor their movements and survival, will effectively give us eyes in the skies, helping raise awareness of the vulnerability of these birds to crimes."

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