Call for red kite volunteers in Newry and Mourne

Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Monday, September 18th, 2017
Community

Photo: Neal Stephens

It’s a pivotal time for red kites in Northern Ireland – and RSPB NI needs your help.

Northern Ireland has been home to these stunning raptors for nine years now since their reintroduction in 2008 thanks to RSPB NI, the Golden Eagle Trust and the Welsh Kite Trust.

They are a spectacular sight and people continue to be enchanted and excited every time they see one.

 

 

However, our red kite population is small and vulnerable to persecution and natural losses.

Sadly, just last month, a young red kite was shot dead in Moneyslane in Co Down.

RSPB NI has been successful in securing funding for our exciting new RKites Project, which is specifically geared towards safeguarding the species in NI and strengthening the link between people and this amazing bird.

 

 

“Now we need active ‘on the ground’ volunteers to help monitor red kites across counties Down and Armagh,” says Alan Ferguson, RSPB NI’s RKites Project Officer.

“We need to find out where their territories are, where they nest, and where they roost so we can accurately monitor their population.

“This is a great opportunity to put your skills to the test and learn some new ones. Species recognition, record-keeping and attention to detail are important aspects of this role, but full training and mentoring will be provided.”

 

 

The RKites Project has received £97,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – made possible by money raised by National Lottery players – and additional funding from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group (NIRSG) and Mourne Heritage Trust will help to provide support.

As well as looking for volunteers, they have encouraged anyone who sees a red kite to report the sighting via redkiteni@rspb.org.uk – telling them the time, date and location of your sighting and any wing tag colours, letters or numbers.They were able to find two new territories this year as a direct result of people contacting them, so information from the public is crucial.

 

 

For more information on putting your name forward to become a red kite volunteer, contact RSPB NI’s RKites Project Officer Alan on 07527 665668 or email redkiteni@rspb.org.uk

More on this story:

Young red kite found dead in Co Down – suspected shot


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