Illegal bird traps found in Boston

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Information is being sought by Lincolnshire Police and the RSPB following the discovery of two illegal bird traps in the Boston area.

The first incident reported to the police concerns a number of nets found in a farm game crop.

Inside the nets were a number of dead and live birds. A small wire cage with a series of fishing wire nooses fixed on the outside was also found mounted on a pole.

Inside the cage were two recently dead warblers.

Experts from the RSPB think this is a ‘hawk trap’ baited with live birds to catch Sparrowhawks which attack the small birds and find themselves caught in the wire nooses.

Sparrowhawks are fully protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to intentionally kill or injure them. Offences carry up to six months imprisonment and/or a £5,000 fine per offence.

The second incident was discovered about a mile away in Boston Cemetery in Horncastle Road, where a couple noticed a 2ft tall mesh cage bated with a greenfinch and hoisted 20ft in the top of a tree. Again this cage had numerous nooses fashioned from fishing wire fixed to the outside.

Both traps are being linked by investigators from the RSPB and Lincolnshire Police who warn that others may well be out there.

PC Nick Willey, Lincolnshire Police Wildlife Crime Officer said: “We are calling for heightened vigilance in the Boston area. Should anyone find evidence of further trapping activity please contact the police immediately by dialling 101. Please do not remove or touch any traps that you should find.”

Mark Thomas, RSPB Senior Investigations Officer said: “It is shocking to find traps such as this in this day and age, it looks as though a concerted campaign against sparrowhawks is underway in the Boston area and the RSPB are appealing for any information to be reported immediately.”

Information can be reported in confidence to Lincolnshire Police by dialling 101 or to the RSPB Investigations Unit on 01767 680551.