The peregrine is a targeted bird, prized by egg collectors and illegal falconers.
Our data tells us a peregrine falcon which nests on a managed grouse moor is far less likely to fledge young than one which nest in a similar habitat where no shooting takes place.
In north-east Scotland, for example, average productivity at 66 upland peregrine sites was measured over four breeding seasons.
Those on managed grouse moor were a third less productive per occupied site than on other upland areas. Those nests on grouse moors in the region which were successful produced no fewer young than those at other upland sites, suggesting the failed grouse moor sites were not suffering from poor food supply.
The peregrine remains a targeted bird, prized both by egg collectors and illegal falconers. The use of DNA fingerprinting to determine family relationships of captive birds has been used to great effect in recent years.
There have been several successful prosecutions involving the laundering of wild taken birds of prey that have relied on evidence of this nature. It is hoped that these cases act as a deterrent to those intent on taking young birds of prey from the wild and certainly, the number of nest robberies has declined in recent years.