A recent study involving scientists from ZSL has looked into the health of red kites following their reintroduction into the wild. To date, very few studies have monitored the health of wildlife populations established by reintroduction and translocation programmes.
As part of the study post-mortem examinations were carried out on 162 red kite carcasses collected between 1989 and 2007. The birds were then grouped according to different pathological findings including poisoning, physical trauma, metabolic bone disease and infections with other findings also recorded. The researchers found that poisoning was the most common cause of death with 20% of the birds having died from either pesticides or lead poisoning.
A key finding from the study is the impact that poisoning has had on slowing the recovery of red kites in England and efforts to reintroduce the species into the wild.
You can read the full article here.
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