The cases included the deaths of two rare golden eagles, four red kites, 21 buzzards and a sea eagle. As well as poisoned baits such as rabbits and eggs, the RSPB included cases where cats, magpies and ravens were poisoned accidentally by pesticides they believe were laid to kill birds of prey.

Some gamekeepers on grouse moors and pheasant shooting estates target birds of prey because they eat game birds kept for commercial and private shooting.

The record level of incidents, which compares to an average of 27 cases a year since 1999, is a significant setback to efforts by the Scottish government to tackle wildlife crime and an embarrassment to Highland estate owners who insist they abhor such attacks .

via Poisoning of Scottish birds of prey at highest levels in 20 years | Environment | The Guardian.