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A peregrine falcon. DPA/PA Images
cooley mountains

Appeal after two adult falcons killed while trying to incubate eggs

Forensic and other evidence is being gathered.

THE NATIONAL PARKS and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and gardaí in Louth are appealing for information after two peregrine falcons were killed.

The killing of the falcons led to three eggs also being discovered.

The falcons had recently established a nest in a remote location in the Cooley Mountains. Three eggs and two dead adult falcons were recovered by NPWS staff from the nest site. The adults were killed while trying to incubate their young.

Forensic and other evidence is being gathered.

The peregrine is the fastest bird in the world, capable of reaching speeds of over 240km/h in flight and recorded at 389km/h while diving for prey.

Their numbers were decimated in the 1950s and 1960s due to the widespread use of DDT and other agricultural pesticides. Since then, they have experienced a population recovery, but remain vulnerable to human persecution, which is the prime threat to their stability.

Between 2011 and 2015 there were 109 persecution incidents. That included eight peregrine falcons that were shot and 16 others that were poisoned.

In 2016 Dungarvan District Court convicted four men of crimes relating to targeting and killing of protected birds of prey during the 2014 breeding season.

Anyone with information can contact An Garda Síochána in Dundalk at 042-938 8400 or the local Conservation Ranger at 076 1002637.

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