Poisoned kite was first to fledge in Badenoch and Strathspey since 1880
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Police Scotland has confirmed that a red kite found dead in the Ruthven area near Moy, Tomatin in October, had been poisoned with a banned pesticide.
The bird had been featured in the Strathy a year before, as one of the first successful brood to fledge from a nest in Badenoch and Strathspey since 1880.
They were also the first brood of red kites to fledge in the Cairngorms National Park.
Further searches were carried out yesterday with partner agency RSPB on hill ground near Meall a’ Bhreacraibh and Ruthven, Moy, in the northern Monadliath mountains.
No further poisoned raptors or animals were identified.
Police Constable Daniel Sutherland, Highlands and Islands Wildlife crime Liaison officer, said: "Traces of a banned pesticide have been detected in a Red kite found in the area. This incident is sadly another example of where a bird of prey has been killed through ingestion of an illegally held poison.
"I strongly urge anyone within the local and wider community to come forward with details on any information about this incident."
Following consultation with the Scottish Government Rural Payments Directorate and the Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA), Police Scotland requests members of the public and any dog walkers to be cautious when walking in the surrounding area and the immediate vicinity.
Anybody who has information about this incident, banned pesticide possession or misuse, or other information relating to raptor persecution please contact Police Scotland on 101 or pass on information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.