Peregrine falcons are a protected species. Photo: Mike Baird CC-BY-2.0

Peregrine falcons are a protected species. Photo: Mike Baird [CC-2.0]

Police are appealing for the public’s help after a peregrine falcon was poisoned.

North Wales Police said tests confirmed the protected bird died as a result of taking in rodent poison.

It was found in a quarry a few weeks ago and is the second poisoning of peregrines within the past few weeks in north Wales.

Police say they need the public’s help to catch the people responsible.

Rural crime team manager Sergeant Rob Taylor said: “The death of a female peregrine falcon in a quarry in Penmaenmawr in June has been confirmed as having been poisoned and we are appealing for the public’s assistance in catching the offender.”

Police said the bird was recovered by the rural crime team and underwent a thorough examination by a vet, where blood tests confirmed poison in its system had caused its death.

Sgt Taylor said: “This is the second suspicious death of peregrine falcons in just a few months in North Wales. Poisoning was also suspected when four birds were found dead in a nest in the Nantlle Valley in July.”

He said the protected bird is often seen as a threat to racing pigeons, and police are following up a number of leads and will be asking the community for their help.

Sgt Taylor said: “Only a couple of years ago we recovered a live pigeon tethered to the ground and covered in poison, as a bait in the same quarry and also a dead peregrine nearby, so it seems the same person feels they can carry on with this cruel method of removing the birds.”

The poison discovered is a rodenticide used in the legal control of mice by safe methods. It can have a devastating effect on birds such as the peregrine falcon if used illegally.

Sgt Taylor added: “It is very sad that a highly protected and rare bird is being wiped out of north Wales because someone is laying poison indiscriminately for their own gain.

“We are aware of the reasons and methods of poisoning and also the locations of our birds, so we will be working closely with the RSPB and other voluntary societies to put a stop to this practice and catch the offender.”

Police said if any live pigeons are found by members of the public tethered to the ground they should not touch them, but should call the rural crime team on 101 immediately.

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