A RED Kite has been discovered dead in Dumfriesshire.
Police say the bird of prey, along with a raven found nearby, had been poisoned.
The birds were discovered in the Lowther Hills, near to Durisdeer, Thornhill, Dumfriesshire.
Constable John Jamieson, Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary Force Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator said: “The barbaric and indiscriminate practice of using illegal poisons in the countryside to target protected species is obviously both a serious wildlife offence and cannot be tolerated in a modern rural society”.
Bob Elliot, Head of Investigations at RSPB Scotland said “This case again highlights the indiscriminate use of these illegal poisons. Red Kites have just this year bred in Nithsdale for the first time since the 1830’s, and cases such as this put the recovery of this species in Dumfries-shire in jeopardy.
“Visitors to the Galloway Red Kite Trail have spent at least £21 million in the region since 2004, with more than £2.6 million spent by people who came specifically to see the kites. Illegal killing of our birds of prey doesn’t just affect the conservation status of these magnificent birds, it also impacts on tourist perceptions of the area, and thereby the local economy.
“We have recently published a report summarising poisoning cases in 2010, and it again illustrates the depressing regularity with which victims are found in upland areas ofScotland. We join withDumfriesand Galloway Constabulary in asking members of the public to report any suspected wildlife crime incidents as quickly as possible, increasing the chances of the perpetrators being identified”.