Published: 14/04/2018 02:46 - Updated: 14/04/2018 02:49

Highland police want raptor incidents reported

Written byTom Ramage

Buzzards have died at Conon Bridge

Police in the Highlands are encouraging the reporting of deaths of birds of prey after several non-suspicious incidents.

Four carcasses found in recent weeks have been reported, allowing them to be examined by specialist vets.

Among these were a buzzard found in Strathspey, a barn owl found in Ross-shire and a golden eagle found on Barra.

Following tests it was found that all of the deaths were related to natural causes.

Both of the buzzards and the owl appear to have starved over the course of the winter.

Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: "I would like to thank the people who reported these incidents for their continued awareness in bringing this to our attention.

"While there has not proved to be anything suspicious about any of these deaths, we’re grateful for the information.

"This is useful for Police Scotland and a wide variety of partners.

"We would continue to encourage anyone who finds the remains of a bird of prey and has concerns about it to contact us so the circumstances can be assessed.

"You can contact Police Scotland on 101 to report any concerns."

Franz Brulisauer, Senior Veterinary Investigations Officer for Scotland’s Rural College, said: "Understanding wild bird deaths is helpful in establishing the full picture of the activities of birds of prey as well as monitoring the wild bird population for avian influenza and residues of pesticides which originate from contamination in the environment."

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