Body of Protected Species Found by Castleisland River Walk

Majestic in Life: A Grey Heron stepping out into the River Feale in Listowel. Photograph: John Reidy Inset: The body of the Grey Heron found on the banks of the River Maine in Castleisland last evening. Photograph: Frances Shanahan.

Is there anyone out there who can throw light on the death of the Grey Heron the body of which was found on the river walk between Barrack Street and Church Street bridges in Castleisland last evening.

Frances Shanahan sent the photograph and I rang Edward Carty for advice.

Young and Inexperienced

Edward said that birds die like this all the time but they are not always found in situations such as this one.

“It may have been attacked by a mink or a otter over territory and food sources and it may have been a young, inexperienced bird.

Number of Causes

“It could have been any number of causes. Unless it was mutilated or obviously shot there is no point in reporting it to a wildlife officer as there is nothing they can do at that stage.

However, if the body of a bird of prey such as a falcon or hen harrier was to be found in such circumstances, a wildlife officer should then be contacted.

Carcass Buried ASAP

As the body found by Frances had no visible marks, thought it is a protected species, it is best that the carcass is buried as soon as possible for a whole set of reasons.

These range from the possibility of the bird may have died by poisoning to the knock-on consequences for other animals which would be tempted by an easy meal.

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