Raising the raptors

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Sir, – How good it was to read of the increase in numbers for the peregrine falcon (“Peregrine falcons return to Irish skies”, January 11th). As someone who some 40 years ago tramped about the Mourne Mountains doing species protection work on peregrines when the pesticide problem still existed, such a good news story warms the coldest January day. Even in those days, peregrines had started to take to cathedrals and quarries and showed themselves remarkably adaptable. Let us hope that the ongoing persecution in some areas can be brought to an end. Birdwatch Ireland, the Irish Raptor Group and our National Parks Service do so much conservation and educational work that is taken for granted. They all deserve greater support. Ireland would be a better place if they got it. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL STARRETT,

Kilkenny.

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