A bird of prey found dead in the Highlands was poisoned, say police.
The red kite was found in the Ruthven area in October, and officers have today confirmed traces of a banned pesticide were found in the raptor.
Joint searches with the RSPB were carried out in hills near Meall a’ Bhreacraibh and Ruthven, Moy, in the northern Monadliath mountains yesterday, however, no further poisoned birds were found.
PC Daniel Sutherland, wildlife crime liaison officer, said: “Traces of a banned pesticide have been detected in a Red kite found in the area.
“This incident is sadly another example of where a bird of prey has been killed through ingestion of an illegally held poison.
“I strongly urge anyone within the local and wider community to come forward with details on any information about this incident.”
Members of the public out walking in the area are being urged to be cautious, and if they have any information which may help officers, to come forward.
Anybody who has information about this incident, banned pesticide possession or misuse, or other information relating to raptor persecution can contact police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.