European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 611–615 | Cite as

Intentional methomyl-poisoning of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) in Switzerland

  • Barbara Renate VoglerEmail author
  • Richard Hoop
  • Martin Sinniger
  • Sarah Albini
Short Communication


The present report describes two proven cases of illegal poisoning of peregrine falcons in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. Both animals died in their eyries after capturing and feeding on a methomyl-laced pigeon. Both eyries are surveillanced by cameras, and the death of one falcon was broadcasted live on the Internet. The city game warden had noticed the disappearance of a brooding female from an artificial eyrie in 2009 and had found five dead falcons at plucking posts or artificial eyries between 2009 and 2013. Owing to these reports in combination with reports on the disappearance of at least eight pairs of peregrine falcons from traditionally used nesting sites in north-western Switzerland since the 1980s, the authors presume that there may be a high number of unreported cases of illegal killing of peregrine falcons in Switzerland. They suggest an increased surveillance, and a coordinated collection of data on wildlife crime may aid the prosecution of perpetrators.


Pesticide Carbamate Intoxication Bait Falcon 



The authors want to thank the following persons for making this study possible (in alphabetical order): Marc Kéry (Swiss Ornithological Station, Sempach), Jacqueline Kupper (Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich), Werner Müller (SVS/BirdLife Switzerland), This Schenkel (game warden at Grünstadt Zürich) and the laboratory staff of all involved institutions.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10344_2015_914_MOESM1_ESM.m4v (22.1 mb)
ESM 1 (M4V 22 mb)

(MPG 5.3 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Renate Vogler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard Hoop
    • 1
  • Martin Sinniger
    • 2
  • Sarah Albini
    • 1
  1. 1.National Reference Centre for Poultry and Rabbit Diseases (NRGK), Institute for Bacteriology, Vetsuisse FacultyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department for the Protection of Animals and the Environment (SPSA-TU), Police Department of Canton ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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