The RSPB Scotland report highlights the plight of 779 birds of prey illegally killed in Scotland between 1994 and 2014. Of this, 468 were found to be poisoned, 173 were shot and 76 perished in illegal traps. The deaths included 104 Red Kites, 37 Golden Eagles, 30 Hen Harriers, 16 Goshawks and 10 White-tailed Eagles. These figures reflect only verified cases involving a criminal element and so the true figure of birds of prey affected during this period will be considerably higher, with a further 305 credible incidents reported involving similiar methods of trapping; or the presence of toxic bait.
The findings also underline that a substantial majority of the killings occurred within areas linked with game-bird shooting – and particularly that of driven grouse activity. Despite this, the research also confirms a decrease in recent years of raptor persecution in lowland areas of the country. The full report can be read here.