A number of Peregrine Falcon nesting sites across Derbyshire are being monitored to help protect their eggs from thieves.
Cameras have been placed to watch the eggs as they get close to hatching, a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
They have been provided by a number of different organisations, all who are keen to protect the species and keep them safe.
Despite being a legally protected species, peregrines are at risk from thieves.
As well as at rural locations in the Peak District, there are also Peregrine Falcon nesting sites in more populated places, including at Derby Cathedral and also at East Mill in Belper.
Inspector Jo Meakin, who is the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team lead, said: “Peregrine Falcons are a protected species and we are committed to preventing and targeting those who commit this type of offence.
“Wildlife crime is a priority for us and we continue to work alongside partnership agencies to monitor nests to help protect them from being targeted by would-be thieves.”
The birds can be fascinating to watch, and The Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project have put special webcams in place, which people can watch online.
You can find out all about the birds nesting there, and watch them live here: https://derbyperegrines.blogspot.com/
Along with the cameras, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has also recently recruited a member of staff dedicated to peregrine protection, thanks to funding from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund.
This new role seeks to reduce these appalling wildlife crimes by working in partnership with RSPB, local raptor groups and Derbyshire Constabulary to ensure a coordinated approach to the protection of these iconic birds throughout the country.
Julia Gow at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said: “The population of Peregrines in the UK suffered a dramatic decline during the 1950s due to pesticides. Across the country they have since been steadily increasing – particularly in urban areas. But sadly the population levels in Derbyshire are still lower than they should be, and birds that are thriving are at high risk of persecution.
“As a result this role is really important, these birds should be here and should be thriving. They need as much protection as possible.”
If anyone has any information about the theft of Peregrine Falcon eggs, notices suspicious activity around the sites, should contact us using the below non-emergency methods:
Facebook– send a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
Twitter– direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact
Website– complete the online contact form derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
Phone – call us on 101.
You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.