Nearly three years after a peregrine falcon that once soared between St. Eugene’s and St. Columb’s Cathedrals in Derry hunting pigeons and other prey was poisoned, the PSNI has again vowed to help protect the species.
In September 2014 the peregrine found dead in the grounds of St. Columb’s Cathedral was suspected to have been poisoned.
The PSNI is currently taking part in a UK-wide initiative named ‘Peregrine Watch’ to try to clampdown on peregrine persecution, including the theft of eggs and chicks from nests or the killing of adults or chicks through poisoning, shooting or trapping.
Sergeant Fallis, from the PSNI, stated: “We have locally pro-actively built excellent relations with the Raptor Study Group in Northern Ireland who monitor and visit all the peregrine nest sites in Northern Ireland each year and as such, through the appropriate licences, we, along with the raptor group, are checking local nests to ensure crimes against these birds is minimised and that we are familiar with our local protected species.”
Sgt. Fallis urged anyone with evidence of wildlife crime to come forward.
“The PSNI take all reports of wildlife crime seriously and as such if we receive a report linked to peregrine watch we will respond accordingly. If anyone has information on any type of crime against birds of prey please contact 101”.
The birds have been a familiar sight as residents of both of Derry’s cathedrals for decades.