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Dublin: 17°C Wednesday 22 September 2021

Two peregrine falcons have been shot dead

Post-mortem results have just been returned for the birds.

(Photo: File)
(Photo: File)
Image: Schalk van Zuydam/AP/Press Association Images

POLICE IN NORTHERN Ireland are appealing for information after the shooting dead of two peregrine falcons.

This happened in the Waringstown area of County Down with the birds being found fatally wounded on Sunday 17 May.

The birds, which were found near to Thornyforde Bridge, were then sent away for a post-mortem examination which determined that they indeed had been shot.

Speaking about the incident, Constable Glen Mackin from the PSNI, said, “Peregrine Falcons are a protected species under the Wildlife (NI) Order and it is illegal to hurt them.”

In a statement today, the RSPB has said that the shooting of birds also threatens other species in the region.

“Peregrine falcons are not the only birds of prey facing persecution here,” a spokesperson for the group said.

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“Red kites were persecuted to extinction more than 200 years ago. Back in 2008 RSPB NI joined forces with the Welsh Kite Trust and the Golden Eagle Trust to reintroduce the species to Northern Ireland’s skies.

The current population is thought to stand at around 14 breeding pairs but it’s thought the population will only reach a sustainable level once around 50 pairs are established.

One of the birds was found shot dead back in May near the Hamlet of Katesbridge in Co Down.

In Northern Ireland the Wildlife Order of 1985 amended under the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act 2011 makes it illegal to shoot buzzards and eagles.

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