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    Peregrine falcon causes network disruption to Vodafone users near Southampton

    NewsBird NewsMonday 15 April 2013
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    A mobile phone transmitter operated by Vodafone in Southampton has been forcefully switched off due to a peregrine falcon nesting their with her young.

    The phone company is unable to move the nest due to the peregrine being a protected species. It has to wait until around June until the chicks have hatched and fledged.
     
    Under UK law Peregrine falcons are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and also the nest’s location has not been revealed to stop people from taking action themselves.
     
    There has been mixed opinions from the public. On the one hand people understand that a protected species have to be looked after but on the other hand they feel let down by Vodafone’s support and efficiency in dealing with the situation.
     
    Gill Bullen a subscriber to Vodafone’s services never knew that a bird could knock out communications such as phone and internet. Her husband suggests that this is a very good excuse and better than the ones Vodafone usually give out.
     
    A Vodafone spokesperson said that they were being "very careful" in looking after the situation
    "We're already looking at alternative contingency plans and we'll inform our customers as soon as we can.
    "While this is inconvenient for our customers, it is great news that the falcons are nesting in the city."
     
    Michelle Hawkins from Natural England stated that "If anybody disturbs them during their breeding season, therefore threatening to stop their natural breeding, it is an offence which could lead to a prison sentence."
    She added that in "exceptional circumstances" a licence could be applied for to disturb a bird.
     
    Peregrine falcons became a protected species in 1981 after almost becom,ing extinct in the 1960’s due to the introduction of pesticides in British farming. After pesticide controls were introduced their numbers were said to increase and now the RSBP estimate that there are over 1400 breeding couples in the UK. They usually nest in areas that are similar to a cliff-face. Protection of nesting areas is vital to the birds survival.
     
    Source: BBC

    Photo: Mike Baird
     
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