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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 16:46 GMT
Police protection for station's birds
Peregrine falcon
The peregrine falcons are being encouraged to breed
North Wales Police officers have taken some of Wales' most persecuted birds under their wing following a spate of attacks.

A pair of peregrine falcons were first spotted using the 145 foot high police tower in Wrexham as an observation spot last summer.

In the North Wales Police area last year there were at least three instances of peregrine falcons being killed by poison baits

Sergeant Pete Charleston

The male and female were not nesting but they had been seen regularly hunting from the roof of the building.

Officers have now stepped in to help their eagle eyed recruits by installing a peregrine falcon nesting box.

Sergeant Pete Charleston, the force's wildlife and environment officer, said he is hopeful that the birds will use the facility during the forthcoming breeding season.

"In the North Wales Police area last year there were at least three instances of peregrine falcons being killed by poison baits.

Wrexham police station
Officers have erected nesting boxes

"Incidents of shooting of other birds of prey have been recorded and egg collectors are active every breeding season.

"Throughout Wales some of our most protected and rarest birds are being persecuted.

"The problem of peregrines being poisoned is one that has been actively pursued in south Wales with convictions having been recorded," he said.

Peregrine falcons have increased in numbers over the past 20 years.

Fastest bird

Experts say this is due to the eradication of the use of pesticides.

There are believed to be around 1,300 pairs of the birds of prey in the UK.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) say that the falcons usually prefer to inhabit quarry's or cliff tops but it is not unusual for them to nest in more urban areas like Wrexham police station.

They are also one of the fastest flying birds on the planet and have been recorded at 150mph.


More from north east Wales
See also:

25 Jun 02 | England
30 May 02 | England
04 Apr 02 | Wales
09 Jun 02 | N Ireland
23 Jul 02 | Wales
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