Public boost reward as red kite and buzzard deaths build up to one of UK's biggest mass poisonings of protected birds of prey
The Guardian, Wednesday 9 April 2014 18.27 BST
Rewards totalling £26,000 have been offered by Scottish bird lovers and landowners for the conviction of the perpetrators of one of the UK's largest mass poisonings of protected birds of prey.
The rare alliance between landowners and ornithologists emerged on Wednesday as Police Scotland said the total number of birds killed had increased to 19, including five buzzards and 14 red kites – the largest single killing of the species in modern times.
The police confirmed 12 of the birds, all found within a two-mile square area south-east of Conon Bridge, north of Inverness, had been poisoned.
Tests on the remaining seven are expected to confirm the same combination of poisons. Investigators are focusing on the baits and site where the attack occurred.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said its reward, which would be paid after a successful conviction, had increased to a record total of £14,000 after a public appeal raised £4,000 and an anonymous donor doubled the charity's initial £5,000 reward to £10,000 last week.