Red kite comeback may help restock Europe

Red kite numbers increase in Britain, but kites face threat from rat poisons

source: Brian Unwin
Independent January 1 2002 p3

Numbers of red kites are increasing in the UK, while they are falling in other European countries, including Spain. Many kites used to restock Britain had come from Spain, and Britain may end up providing kites for locations in mainland Europe.

Red kites are under threat from brodisacoum and bromadioline, used as rat poisons. They were also attacked by gamekeepers from the late 18th century, only surviving in central Wales, until they were reintroduced in Scotland and England from 1989. There are 431 pairs of kites in the UK in 2002, compared with 69 pairs in 1989.

Gigrin Farm in Powys, Wales, attracts large numbers of tourists to watch its kite gathering. The farmer feeds kites with meat, and over 150 kites go to feed there.