Lanarkshire MSP named nature champion for endangered Red Kite bird

Lanarkshire MSP Meghan Gallacher has been named as Scottish Environment LINK’s nature champion for Red Kites.

The Red Kite is an iconic bird that was once abundant in the skies above urban and rural Scotland. However, by the end of the 19th century, the bird was on the very edge of extinction through persecution and egg collecting.

In the late 1980s, conservationists began a programme that would see the Red Kite reintroduced across the length of the United Kingdom with phenomenal success.

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It is thanks to these programmes that there are now between 300-350 breeding pairs in Scotland, and over 10,000 Red Kites now grace the environment across the United Kingdom.

Conservative Central Scotland MSP Meghan welcomed the opportunity to visit Argaty Red Kites to hear more about the project from owner and operator Tom Bowser.

Meghan Gallacher said: “I am passionate about animal welfare and as the owner of an Indian ringneck parrot, birds are a particular favourite.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as the Nature Champion for Red Kites. They are such a magnificent bird and having witnessed them in their own wild habitat at Argaty they are full of wonder and character.

“It was brilliant to talk to Tom, Kelvin, and Duncan, to hear first-hand the amazing work they have been involved in bringing Red Kites back from the brink of extinction here in Scotland.

“It is thrilling to hear that there have been more regular sightings in my region across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.

“There are specific challenges that we need to overcome to ensure that the positive work being undertaken by sites like Argaty are not threatened by irresponsible human activity.

“I will be working closely with colleagues from across the political spectrum to enable the legislation to compliment the fantastic work of these groups.

“I would like to thank Kelvin and Duncan for their invaluable expertise and Tom for his wonderful hospitality. I will definitely be taking him up on his offer to come and see the Red Kites being ringed in the Spring.”

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