As well as maintaining our kite monitoring programme the Welsh Kite Trust have, since 2012, widened our objectives to include other raptor and owl species in Wales that need our help if they are to survive.
Once familiar birds like the Kestrel and Little Owl have greatly reduced in number and rarer species such as the Merlin and Peregrine Falcon have become even scarcer. The Trust hopes that by applying the same methods of good quality monitoring, landowner engagement and specific research that have benefited the Red Kite so successfully we can turn the tide on the declines in these other species. Restoring healthy and balanced raptor populations to the Welsh countryside is both good for wildlife and good for wildlife watchers.
What are the Welsh Kite Trust current priorities?
1. To keep a watchful eye on red kites.
It is essential to continue monitoring the well-being of welsh red kites even though they now appear common to many of us. Although the Red Kite is doing well here in Wales (and the rest of UK), where it is showing an ongoing population increase and range expansion, there are worrying declines in other parts of its range. The Red Kite has a very restricted range in world terms, and is almost entirely confined to certain parts of western Europe. Declines are occurring across large parts of this restricted range, and this is making the increasing welsh population more and more important in an international context. One of the identified threats to kites in some parts of its range is secondary rodenticide poisoning, due to ever-more potent poisons being developed as rodents develop resistance to traditional rodenticides. If this, or another threat, becomes significant to welsh birds, then we will only be able to detect any problems at an early stage if we keep up our dedicated monitoring programme.
2. To find out why some welsh raptor species are declining.
Effective conservation measures can only be enabled if the driving factors behind population declines can be understood first. This requires well designed research projects that may involve marking and tracking individuals, installing nest cameras, adding nest boxes and many other techniques. The Welsh Kite Trust has considerable experience of this type of work, and also understands the importance of working closely with landowners and wildlife enthusiasts. The Trust, together with its supporters, is therefore ideally placed to make a unique contribution and lead this essential conservation work.
3. To assess the impacts of developments on welsh raptors
The extensive Welsh Kite Trust database and in-depth understanding can help in the assessment of new development schemes such as wind turbines, road schemes, etc., and provide expert advice on their potential impact on kites and other birds of prey.
4. To give advice and information.
WKT can provide advice and help to farmers and other land owners with nesting kites or other birds of prey. WKT can also provide information to the general public on the Red Kite and other birds of prey in Wales. This website will continually be expanded to become a major resource for all interested in raptor conservation. This will help raise awareness of the threats to kites and other raptors e.g. from the misuse of pesticides and the deliberate setting of poison baits, and any other threats that become apparent.
For detailed reports and up to date results on all our work visit the downloads page.
See below for other useful links;
Report an injured raptor
(Report a colour-ringed kestrel)