POLICE have teamed up with a wildlife charity and quarry owner in South Staffordshire to stop would-be egg thieves targeting protected falcons.
Peregrine falcons, a rare species protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, return to Saredon Quarry, Shareshill, each year to nest, lay eggs and raise their young. But in the past there have been egg thefts and deliberate destruction of nests, despite it being illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb the nesting birds.
Last year officers from Staffordshire Police worked with the quarry manager, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Smartwater who supplied signs, grease and Smartwater pipe bombs, to step up protection at the site. The partnership proved such a success it is being repeated this year.
CCTV cameras have also been installed to deter anyone considering interfering with the nests or targeting the adult birds and motion sensors have been placed around the site.
Inspector Geoff Knight, South Staffordshire Local Policing Team Commander, said: "Sadly in the past we have received reports of nest interference. We suspect those responsible are either involved in pigeon racing due the fact that the falcons feed on birds locally, or they are specifically after the eggs to sell them illegally.
"Whatever the case, we are determined to ensure the Falcons can successfully raise their young."