Report a dead kite. Threats to Kites

Important Information - Secondary Poisoning

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Below is advice issued by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), who have kindly permitted to post the following important information:

Red kites and other birds of prey are very susceptible to secondary poisoning as they will eat poisoned rodents and ingest the poisons they contain. These poisons may kill the kite immediately, or they may accumulate in the body and cause eventual death.

The so-called ‘second generation’ anticoagulant rodenticides are particularly toxic to red kites and other wildlife and products containing Bromadiolone, Difenacoum, Brodifacoum or Flocoumafen should be avoided if possible.

Preventing rodents is better than dealing with a rodent problem after it has arisen.

Deter rodents from your property by:

1. Keeping foodstuffs and refuse in rodentproof containers.

2. Making sure any food spills are cleaned up immediately.

3. Proofing buildings to prevent rodents getting in.

4. Removing cover for rodents (for example by sealing sheds and barns, and removing shrubs and undergrowth adjacent to your property).

5. Painting gloss on outside walls to prevent climbing by rodents (a 6 inch wide continuous strip painted 3ft above ground level on brick or smooth render should be effective).

6. Fitting metal kick plates to prevent gnawing at the bottom of doors.

7. Fitting circular metal guards around pipes.

8. Attracting predators such as barn owls to your property. (contact organisations such as your local Wildlife Trust, the Hawk and Owl Trust or the RSPB for further information).

If preventative methods are insufficient try an alternative method of pest control to rodenticides. The best form of rodent control to use will depend on your exact situation so take expert advice from your Local Council or a pest control company, explaining that you wish to avoid poisoning wildlife.

Examples of alternative methods to control rodents include:

1. Live trapping (live box or curiosity traps). These traps require daily checking to ensure the welfare of trapped rodents is not compromised.

2. Snap trapping (break-back traps).

3. Carbon dioxide chambers. If used carefully these methods can be effective control methods in some situations, and pose no threat to red kites.

Minimising the risk

1. Always follow product instructions.

2. Preferentially use ‘first generation’ rodenticides (such as those based on warfarin, coumatetralyl or chlorophacinone), which are less toxic to wildlife.

3. Carry out regular searches for dead rodents and dispose of them safely by burning or burying.

4. Only put rodenticides out in areas of rodent infestation (carry out a survey prior to treatment to assess where the main problem areas are).

5. Use poisoned bait only in the amounts required to achieve control and only for as long as necessary to achieve satisfactory control, or you will be causing unnecessary harm to wildlife.

6. Make sure that bait is sufficiently protected to avoid accidentally poisoning other animals