New report from WILDCOMS partners published 'Anticoagulant rodenticides in red kites in Britain 2016'

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 2016.  In all 21 out of 22 kites (95%) from England & Wales and 5 of 7 red kites from Scotland had detectable liver residues of at least one SGAR. Seven of the 29 kites were diagnosed as having been poisoned by SGARs.  The report can be downloaded from the PBMS website: here.

Richard Shore, lead scientist for the PBMS said:  “This is the second 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 2016 is similar to that for 2015. Our results indicate that almost all red kites, at least in England and Wales, are exposed to these poisons; some die as a result. 

A stewardship programme for anticoagulant rodenticides began in 2016 and a key aim is to reduce unintentional exposure in wildlife.  In 2019, we hope to report our monitoring data for red kites that died more recently (2017 and 2018). This will provide a first indication if stewardship may be reducing the risk from anticoagulant rodenticides in red kites.”

The current report draws together data from the 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.