Birds of prey shot in Forest of Bowland

A peregrine falcon in flight
A peregrine falcon in flight

There were 81 deaths of birds of prey in the UK last year – including the shooting and trapping of peregrine falcons in the Forest of Bowland, the RSPB has confirmed.

Yet despite the high number of deaths, there were no prosecutions – the first time this has happened in 30 years.

Birdcrime 2016 – the only report summarising offences against birds of prey in the UK – revealed 40 shooting, 22 poisoning, 15 trapping and four other incidents of illegal persecution against raptors. Among the victims were hen harriers, peregrine falcons, red kites and buzzards.

The report revealed that close to two-thirds (53) of the confirmed incidents took place in England. In Lancashire confirmed incidents included a shot peregrine, a shot kestrel and an illegally trapped peregrine.

Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director, said: “Birds of prey bring our skies to life. There are laws in place to protect these birds but they are clearly not being put into action.”