Wounded kite treated and released after hunting incident

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A kite was found in November, in Saint-Léger-de-Peyre, with lead in its wing.  It was an act of attempted poaching, and as the kite is protected, a formal investigation has been carried out.

This Sunday, members of the LPO (Bird Protection League), Aleppo (Lozerian Association for the Protection of the Environment), and the Millau Regional Wildlife Conservation Centre (CRSFSC ) gathered at Massegros, Lozère, to witness the release of the kite.

“We chose to release it here, because it is an open environment, with a lot of food resources, and a large population of red kites, which shows that the site is conducive to the development of this species”, said Jean-Luc Bigorne, member of the LPO.

“He is now able to feed himself.  There is still lead left at the level of the shoulder that we cannot extract.  I considered that it was safe to release him.  Even if he is not fully recovered, it is better than keeping him in captivity,” said Jean-Claude Austry, head of the Millau rescue centre.

In Lozère, the population of kites is relatively large, compared to other territories. “There are more than 200 pairs, whereas on the Massif Central, between 2000 and 2010, certain departments experienced significant losses”, explained Jean-Luc Bigorne. The species is subject to rigorous monitoring in Lozère. All stages of reproduction are monitored from March to July, which gives information on the number of births.

“Several threats affect the kite. Poisoning linked to products used in agriculture, in particular fungicides fighting against the high density of terrestrial voles threatening crops, or even rat poison used by individuals, are all sources of poisoning of kites,” lamented Jean-Luc Bigorne.

Much to the relief of the witnesses, the kite took off majestically, and they watched as it headed over the heights of the Massegros.

Source: Midi Libre