The latest annual report on the exposure of red kites to second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) is now published on the PBMS website. It describes the magnitude of liver residues and the extent of associated poisoning in birds that died in 2019. All but four of the 43 kites had detectable liver residues of at least one SGAR. The report can be downloaded here.
Lee Walker, lead scientist for the PBMS said: “This is the fourth annual collaborative report that describes the risk to red kites across Britain from anticoagulant rodenticides. Overall the picture of contamination in kites that died in 2019 is similar to that for previous years. Our results indicate that almost all red kites are exposed to these poisons.
A stewardship programme for anticoagulant rodenticides began in 2016 and a key aim is to reduce unintentional exposure in wildlife. Here we report our monitoring data for red kites that died more recently in 2019. This is the first assessment of whether stewardship may be reducing the risk from anticoagulant rodenticides in red kites.”
The current report draws together data from the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology’s Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS), the Institute of Zoology’s Disease Risk Analysis and Health Surveillance (DRAHS) programme and from the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) for England & Wales and for Scotland, run by Fera Science and SASA (Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture), respectively. All the organisations are partners in the WILDCOMS network. This network promotes collaboration between the various national surveillance schemes that monitor disease and contaminants in vertebrate wildlife.