THE National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is appealing for information after post-mortems on three common buzzards found dead in Clonakilty showed high levels of poison in their bodies.
The birds were found dead in a field in Ring near Clonakilty in January and a pesticide named Carbofuran and two types of rodenticide were detected in toxicology results.
Two of the birds were missing their heads when discovered and one was missing a leg.
There were no signs of the animals having been shot. It is not known how the birds came into contact with the poisons.
NPWS has launched an investigation and is now appealing for information from the public to determine how the birds died.
The birds were only introduced into the West Cork area with the first such birds breeding in Clonakilty for the first time 10 years ago.
All wild birds including Buzzards are protected under the Wildlife Act 1976 and it is illegal to take them from the wild, injure or kill them. They feed on the flesh of dead animals and rodents such as rats and are believed to pose no threat to farm animals or pets.
Buzzards are most common in Donegal, Monaghan and Louth. The species was absent in Ireland from the late 19th century until 1933, when a pair bred in Antrim. The species has spread slowly down from the north through the 20th century.
The NPWS can be contacted on 01-8883242.