FAMILIES are being urged to remain vigilant to help stop the Midlands’ birds of prey becoming victims of wildlife crime.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is urging countryside users to continue to report wildlife crime in a bid to threaten birds such as falcons, hawks and kites.
The society’s most recent Birdcrime report reveals there were 34 reported incidents of bird of prey persecution in the Midlands.
This figure includes two shot peregrine falcons, a shot goshawk, a shot red kite, three poisoned buzzards, and a spring trapped osprey.
Martin Harper, RSPB director of conservation, said: “Our birds of prey are magnificent creatures, and the sight of a hen harrier’s dramatic skydancing display flight is simply breathtaking.
“Everyone should be able to witness this but sadly millions of people are denied this opportunity.
“Conservation groups, the shooting community and the general public need to be vigilant, in order to stop a small minority from continuing to commit these kinds of wildlife crimes.”
In total, the RSPB Investigations Unit received reports of 51 incidents of wild bird crime occurring in 2015 in the Midlands region, which accounted for fewer than ten per cent of the UK incidents reported in its report.
But the national and regional figures are thought to represent a fraction of the actual number of offences – with many incidents going unreported and undetected.
The RSPB believes tougher legislation and enforcement is needed if birds of prey are to thrive in their natural environment.