The RSPB says without urgent action, some of UK’s birds of prey face a bleak future
Its latest Birdcrime report revealed 81 confirmed incidents of illegal raptor persecution in 2016, without a single person prosecuted.
Birdcrime 2016 - the only report summarising offences against birds of prey in the UK - revealed 40 shooting, 22 poisoning, 15 trapping and four other incidents of illegal persecution against raptors.
Among the victims were hen harriers, peregrine falcons, red kites and buzzards.
However, evidence suggests these figures are just the tip of the iceberg with many illegal killings going undetected or unreported.
The report revealed that close to two-thirds (53) of the confirmed incidents took place in England.
In the North East confirmed incidents included a shot hen harrier and the persecution of a peregrine in Northumberland, and shot red kite in County Durham.