Birds of prey such as Peregrines are protected by law.
Police have launched an investigation after a young peregrine falcon died after being shot in the Peak District National Park.
The injured bird was found by walkers in the Goyt Valley, west of Buxton. It was collected by Raptor Rescue and taken to a local vet but later died. A post mortem revealed the bird had been hit with shotgun shot.
Sgt Darren Belfield, from Derbyshire police, said: “Peregrines, like all birds of prey, are protected by law. The persecution of birds of prey is a problem in some upland areas of the county, with offences taking place away from public view in isolated rural areas, often in the early hours when there are few people around to witness illegal acts.
“I would personally appeal to all users of the countryside to help us bring persecution to an end. If you know or suspect someone of committing or being involved in committing acts of wildlife crime of any kind I would urge you to come forward and report it to the police.
“Furthermore, if you are involved in outdoor activities or sports, or are engaged in employment in the rural areas of our county, I would ask you to remain vigilant to crimes of this type. The police need witnesses and evidence in order to secure a prosecution. The public can help with this so if you suspect it, please report it.”