I recently read in the news about the poisoning of two peregrines in Motherwell, thought to be poisoned by pigeon fanciers who used strychnine to kill the falcons. With this being too close for comfort it just shows how vital the peregrine watch at the Falls of Clyde is to the conservation of these amazing birds. Persecution of birds of prey is still a big issue. The peregrines main threats are pigeon fanciers, egg collectors, rogue game keepers and people who steal the eggs to sell to the Middle East for falconry. Hopefully with the 24 hour watch and great work by my team of volunteers we will see the fledging of more peregrine numbers this year.
The law states that it is a criminal offence to disturb, intentionally or recklessly, at or near the nest, a species listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 such as the peregrine falcon. Disturbance could include playback of songs and calls. The courts can impose fines of up to £5,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months for each offence.
Tom – Species Protection Officer