CEH's Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS) was requested by the RSPB to assist in the investigation of a suspected shooting of a peregrine falcon. The bird, a young female, had been found at Lincoln's Brayford Pool on February 22 and was examined by the PBMS team late last week.
The results of the post-mortem examination, which confirmed the bird was shot, have now been passed on to the Lincolnshire Police Wildlife Crime Officer and the RSPB’s Investigations Section. Police investigations are on-going and they have appealed for information.
Peregrine falcons are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and there are less than 1500 breeding pairs in the whole of the United Kingdom. Anyone convicted under the act can face up to six months' imprisonment and a fine of up to £5000.
The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme is run by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology from its Lancaster site. Its main focus is on quantifying the concentrations of contaminants in the livers and eggs of selected species of predatory and fish-eating birds.