Appeal after peregrine falcon illegally shot in Co Wexford

Protected bird of prey had to be euthanised by parks service due to severity of injuries


The National Parks and Wildlife Service is has appealed for information after a young peregrine falcon was illegally shot in Co Wexford.

The native bird of prey had to be euthanised by the parks service after it was found shot at Ballynastraw near Enniscorthy due to the severity of its injuries.

X-rays showed that the bird was hit with shotgun pellets in its wings and leg, the Department of Arts and Heritage said in a statement. Vets said the injuries were so bad that rehabilitation was unlikely.

The falcon was young and on one of its first flights, according to an identification ring on its leg.

The parks service has raised concern about an increase in the deliberate killings of peregrines in recent years. It said there were several unexplained nest failures in the south-east.

“The finding of this bird is not an isolated incident. There have been attempts to poison and shoot birds at a number of nests and if people see anything suspicious like a tethered pigeons or a trap, NPWS staff should be called,”Dominic Berridge of the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve at the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NWPS) said.

It was “intolerable” for birds of prey and other wildlife “to be persecuted, poisoned or shot,”Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said in a statement.

“Not only is this activity illegal and barbaric, it also harms our reputation as a country that values its wildlife,” she said. She urged the public to report incidents to the NPWS.

Peregrine falcons are a protected species and receive high legal protection under law . The killing of them is a criminal offence.

Anyone with information which could assist the investigation is asked to contact Mr Berridge at 076-1002660