PERSECUTION of birds is on the increase in the region, according to the RSPB’s investigation unit.
Last year in Hampshire two buzzards were poisoned with a banned substance, alphachloralose, a pesticide which has been illegal since 2008.
This was just one of 44 incidents in the south east, compared with 40 in 2011.
Other incidents included the shooting of two buzzards and a kestrel.
There was one recorded incident of egg collecting and 10 of the taking and sale of wild birds other than birds of prey.
Mark Thomas, senior investigations officer, said: ‘These are very serious incidents; the poisoning of the buzzards was a deliberate act, where somebody laced a bait with the deadly pesticide Alpha, knowing it would kill.
‘With buzzards increasing they have become a barometer of wildlife crime. Many of these offences occur on private land, so confirmed cases are just the tip of the iceberg.’