Belfast Telegraph

PSNI eyes in sky helping to keep peregrines safe

By Rebecca Black

The PSNI is using drones to help ensure the safety of endangered peregrine falcons.

Officers have been taking part in the UK-wide Peregrine Watch this year, which is designed to prevent the theft of eggs and chicks from nests and the killing of birds through poisoning, shooting or trapping.

The PSNI has been using the unmanned aircraft fitted with specialist cameras to monitor hotspot areas.

The Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group said there had been a clear reduction in the number of persecution incidents as a result of the police action.

"The average number of successful nests in Northern Ireland each year is 49 - in 2017 there were 55. Among these was a nest site in Co Armagh at which persecution has been recorded for the past 30 years, and for the first time in 15 years a pair of peregrines at this site was successful in producing young. In total, 138 peregrine chicks have fledged this year, compared to the average annual production of 109."

Belfast Telegraph

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