Police in Northern Eire are utilizing drones to patrol the nest websites of protected birds of prey.
They’ve been used to observe areas the place the birds are being persecuted.
It’s considered the primary time the expertise has been used on this manner in the UK.
It follows dozens of circumstances of poisoning throughout Northern Eire over the previous few years. In accordance with the PSNI, there have been 44 stories of birds of prey being killed illegally between 2009 and 2014.
A number of peregrines are misplaced yearly to unlawful poisoning, capturing or trapping, mentioned the Northern Eire Raptor Examine Group, which has been serving to with the survey work.
- Why are birds of prey being killed?
The Northern Eire Setting Company is overseeing the work, which is a part of a wider initiative to guard the nests of peregrine falcons.
The species typically increase its younger in quarries or on cliff faces.
There are round 80 breeding pairs of peregrines in Northern Eire, however solely about half of them fledge younger yearly.
Whereas numbers of peregrines have elevated in recent times they’re nonetheless being persecuted, mentioned wildlife officer Jon Lees.
“They will also be disturbed to the purpose of nest abandonment by individuals who simply need a nearer look or ,” he mentioned.
PSNI wildlife liaison officer, Emma Meredith, mentioned the drones offered the flexibility to survey hard-to-reach areas.
She added the brand new expertise signifies that “there is no such thing as a hiding place for individuals who search to persecute wild birds”.
Ms Meredith mentioned the PSNI takes “all kinds of crimes critically and this contains wildlife crime corresponding to capturing, poisoning or trapping of birds of prey”.
“On events, baits (corresponding to a rabbit carcass or sausages) have been laid laced with poison within the public area,” she mentioned.
She added that a few of the meals not noted to poison the birds was discovered to include the banned and “critically harmful” substance, Carbofuran.
“Be underneath no phantasm, the sort of poison is an indiscriminate killer and will also be deadly to people, not solely wildlife suffers but in addition any baby, grownup or pet might discover and finally devour these poisoned baits.”