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High reward offered for identification of falcon killer

High reward offered for identification of falcon killer

Image source: © canva
Weronika Paliczka,
29.04.2024 09:45

Falcon enthusiasts in Lublin are devastated after Czart the falcon, father of the chicks, was poisoned. A fundraiser has been set up to find the culprit who murdered Wrotka’s partner.

The lives of wild animals have always piqued human interest. Nowadays, photo traps in forests capture their inhabitants, often resulting in incredible footage going viral online. These images show everything from bear cubs playing to roe deer taking dips in muddy ponds.

Birdwatching enthusiasts have their own methods for observing birds. They install cameras in nests to broadcast bird life in real-time, allowing them to check that everything is alright.

Thousands of people follow the lives of falcons

Currently, the situation of falcons in Lublin is drawing the attention of ornithology enthusiasts. The story of the disappearance and miraculous return of the female falcon named Wrotka has captured the hearts of thousands of people.

However, just when it seemed like peace had returned to the nest at the top of the chimney, another tragedy struck that no one could have predicted. On 26 April, the Sokole Oko (Hawkeye) Facebook profile reported that the male falcon Czart, who was Wrotka's partner and son and the father of the chicks, had been found dead.

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According to the information posted online, Czart was poisoned, just like his father Łupek, in 2021. At that time, Łupek had consumed the meat of a pigeon that had been deliberately poisoned with pesticides banned in the European Union.

It is well-known that pigeon enthusiasts do not have the greatest affection for falcons. The birds prey on pigeons, treating them as a delicacy. Facebook groups have been formed for pigeon fanciers, where they share their methods of combating falcons.

A fundraiser to find Czart's killer

A group of falcon enthusiasts from Lublin is determined to bring justice to the person who poisoned Czart. They have started an online fundraiser to reward anyone who provides information about the culprit. As of this writing, the fundraiser has raised PLN 52,821.

"Once again, an unknown perpetrator has poisoned Lublin peregrine falcons. The funds raised will go towards a reward for any information that may contribute to identifying the offender and ending this monstrous practice, which has been going on since 2019. Lublin is home to the only pair of peregrine falcons in the area. Peregrines were almost completely wiped out in Poland and Europe in the 1950s as a result of the use of DDT chemical compounds in agriculture. In the 1970s, a programme was initiated to restore the species in Poland," reads the fundraiser's description.

"Over the course of 50 years, through extensive efforts and funding, the population of these magnificent birds has been increased to only 100-150 breeding pairs. As a result, the peregrine falcon is an extremely rare bird protected under strict species protection laws that require active conservation measures. Every wild peregrine falcon is an invaluable asset to the natural world. In 2015, a female peregrine falcon named Wrotka journeyed from Włocławek to Lublin, where a nesting box was installed on the chimney of PGE EC the following year, marking Lublin's foray into the world of falconry. Sadly, this adventure was marred by tragedy and loss. In 2019, the falcons were poisoned for the first time," the description further reads.

"In 2019, two young birds died, while the female miraculously survived. Then, in 2021, there was another poisoning incident, which claimed the lives of both the young and the adult male, Łupek, who had been Wrotka's partner since 2017. With no other males in the area, the desperate female took her 2021 son as her partner. However, on 26 April, Czart, Wrotka's partner and son, Łupek's last son, was also poisoned, resulting in a huge loss for the population of this species. We must do everything in our power to bring the perpetrator to justice. As the owners of the fundraiser, we believe that a high reward will be a suitable motivation," the falconers explain.

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