An immature peregrine falcon shot in Co Wexford, Ireland.


The Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service has appealed for information after a young peregrine falcon was illegally shot in Co Wexford. The young 3 month old peregrine had to be euthanised by the parks service after it was found shot at Ballynastraw near Enniscorthy due to the severity of its injuries.The parks service has raised concern about an increase in the deliberate killings of peregrines in recent years. It said there were several unexplained nest failures in the south-east.

“The finding of this bird is not an isolated incident. There have been attempts to poison and shoot birds at a number of nests and if people see anything suspicious like a tethered pigeons or a trap, NPWS staff should be called,”Dominic Berridge of the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve at the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NWPS) said.

X-rays showed that the bird was hit with shotgun pellets in its wings and leg, the Department of Arts and Heritage said in a statement. Vets said the injuries were so bad that rehabilitation was unlikely. The falcon was young and on one of its first flights, according to an identification ring on its leg.


X-ray of injured bird showing two lead shot pellets in the wing and leg. Photograph: Peter Murphy

It was “intolerable” for birds of prey and other wildlife “to be persecuted, poisoned or shot,”Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said in a statement.

“Not only is this activity illegal and barbaric, it also harms our reputation as a country that values its wildlife,” she said. She urged the public to report incidents to the NPWS.

Peregrine falcons are a protected species and receive high legal protection under law . The killing of them is a criminal offence.

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact Mr Berridge at 076-1002660

This story was first published by the Irish Times


1 comment to An immature peregrine falcon shot in Co Wexford, Ireland.

  • Julie Wright

    Ireland seems to he having a lot of problems with persecution as well as England & Scotland I think awareness and social media are highlighting to the public an illegal act that’s been going on for years and years and we’re not going to put up with it anymore! With the general election next year and the petition to ban Driven Grouse Shooting getting to Parliament and it will. The party who bans it will get my vote! All those green MPs where were you on Hen Harrier Day? Only one MP turned up Barry Gardiner Brent North constitutancy, well done to you! Our wildlife needs all the help it can get, especially birds of prey and the endangered Hen Harrier.