Guidelines for Dealing With Casualties

Since the Yorkshire Red Kite releases began in 1999, many birds have been found dead or injured. Post-mortem examination and analysis has shown that some incidents were due to natural causes or accident. However, many casualties have been caused by poisoning and shooting. As the population increases, more cases are inevitable.

Please note that YRK is purely involved with Red Kites, though the guidance here is applicable to all bird of prey species.

The circumstances of each incident will vary, but the following guidelines should assist if a dead or injured kite is found:

Protect Yourself

  • Take care not to put yourself in any danger.
  • Unless there is an obvious physical cause of death or injury, be alert to the possible presence of poison.
  • Do not handle the bird or any possible poisoned bait with bare hands.
  • Unless it is necessary to do so, do not touch them at all!

Protect the Site

  • It may be a scene of crime
  • Do not disturb potential evidence
  • Take photographs of the site and victim(s)
  • Make a note of anything untoward, including descriptions of any suspects and their vehicle registration details
  • Keep people and animals away
  • Take an Ordnance Survey grid reference

Is the bird alive?

  • If so, a welfare issue arises
  • Contact RSPCA - 0300 1234 999

Is Illegal Activity Suspected?

  • If shooting or poisoning is suspected, or a trap is involved, contact the Police on 101 immediately where you will be connected to your local force:
  • Ask to speak urgently to a Wildlife Crime Officer - please ask for an incident number.

Is Poisoning Suspected?

  • Are there multiple deaths or an obvious poison bait and victim(s)
  • If so, notify the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) on 0800 321 600, in addition to the Police
  • If possible, cover the victim(s) and any likely bait

Is the bird a Red Kite?

  • If so, please also notify Yorkshire Red Kites through the Contact Us facility on the website.

Further Advice

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