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£10K reward on offer as police and charity probe attack on protected peregrine falcon

A £10,000 bounty has been placed on the head of whoever shot a peregrine falcon at a nature reserve.

Derbyshire's Rural Crime Team police officers are working alongside the RSPB after a peregrine falcon was found injured at Hey Clough, off the A628 Woodhead Pass, near Crowden.

The bird of prey was found on Saturday, April 4, and taken to a vet, where it was discovered to have a broken wing and pieces of pellet in it. Unfortunately, the bird could not be saved.

A full post-mortem examination has been completed which confirmed that one piece of shot broke the bird’s humerus and the other entered through its breast muscle and onwards.

With such injuries, the bird would have been rendered incapable of flight immediately and officers believe the shooting would have taken place on the land where it was found. Police describe it as "very concerning" that this offence has occurred on land that forms part of RSPB Dovestone.

The RSPB has offered a £5,000 reward for information which leads to a successful conviction for this wildlife crime.

This amount has been matched by the Peak District National Park Authority, taking the reward to £10,000.

Sergeant Chris Wilkinson, of the Rural Crime Team, said: “It is a sad fact that bird of prey crime is still prevalent in Derbyshire and particularly concerning is that this incident appears to have occurred on an RSPB reserve.

“Raptor persecution is a serious crime against nature and a wildlife crime national priority, and we are keen to speak with anyone who may have information about this crime.”

In the UK, peregrine falcons have been given full protection under the law. 

This means that it is a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or take a Peregrine.

Nests and eggs are also protected and the Act makes it an offence to take, damage or destroy the nest of a wild bird while it is in use or being built, or to take or destroy the eggs.

Peregrines are given more protection than other species. In effect, this means that higher penalties can be imposed by the courts.

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