A reward of £1,000 is being offered to anyone who can help catch those responsible for killing of a family of peregrine falcons. One of the falcons carcass was found in the Glenwherry area on July 2, with three more of the protected birds – a chick and a breeding pair -missing, now presumed to have also been killed.
MLA Jim Wells, who is Chair of the Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG), which is offering the £1,000 reward courtesy of a generous supporter of NIRSG, said the dead chick, which had only recently flown from the nest, had been shot. “They are attacking a bird that until very recently was endangered,” he said.
“Every summer it is the same – illegally poisoned or shot falcons. This has to stop. It is an absolute disgrace that anyone thinks they have justification for shooting a rare and specially protected bird.”
Birds of prey, such as falcons, are protected under the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985, making it illegal to kill or prevent breeding. Northern Ireland Police have appealed for anyone with information to help them with ongoing enquiries.
They are urging anyone, particularly in the Broughshane, Glenwherry or Larne area, who may have information as to who is responsible for shooting this protected bird to come forward.
A spokesperson said: “This latest incident of raptor persecution clearly indicates that some people are still prepared to break the law risking a custodial sentence, their livelihoods and their right to possess firearms. Anyone that has any information about this incident, peregrine persecution in Northern Ireland or any other wildlife crime should report it directly to the police or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to bring these criminals to justice”.