Police plea for people to help protect at-risk birds and wildlife in Calderdale

Under threat: Peregrine falcons are among the birds at risk
Under threat: Peregrine falcons are among the birds at risk

A PLEA to watch out for protected birds is being made by police.

Officers say this is the time of year when Calderdale’s protected species are most at risk, with most birds now nesting and incubating eggs.

They want to remind people that disturbing nesting birds is an criminal offence.

All Calderdale’s protected species, including the Peregrine Falcon, Twite and Curlew, have their nesting sites monitored by volunteers who report suspicious activity to the police.

Calderdale Police’s wildlife officer Special Constable Phil Sanderson added there are other steps people can take to help protect the area’s creatures

“Walkers are asked to keep dogs on leads while exercising their dogs during lambing season and to be also aware that, despite the recent spell of wet weather, the upland reaches and moorland are susceptible to fire,” he said.

“The public are reminded that in the upland reaches of Calderdale any activity they are concerned about such as illegal off-roading can be reported via www.moorwatch.co.uk as an alternative to contacting the police as long as it is not an emergency.”

In April last year, the Courier reported how a poisoner was thought to be trying to kill rare birds in Calderdale by spiking food and leaving it near their nesting sites.

Police were called in after a chicken carcass believed to have been deliberately poisoned was found in the Ryburn Valley near the home of a peregrine falcon.

Officers said the chicken could have been fatal to humans as well as the falcon.

Peregrine falcons nest at several sites across Calderdale but are at risk from professional criminals because of the high value of their eggs.