UK Hen Harrier survey results – what they say (2)

2000 pairs of Hen Harrier are missing from the UK – overwhelmingly due to widespread, systematic and illegal persecution by grouse shooting interests.  The results of a UK-wide survey were released today: there were 545 pairs in 2016 compared with 633 in 2010.

The media response:

Overall, there are quite a few mentions of these results, including on the wildlife-desert of the Today programme, but very little analysis or comment.

BBC online – Hen Harrier plunges towards extinction in England

Independent – Hen harrier population crashes in UK as illegal killing takes its toll

Daily Mail – Only four breeding pairs of Hen Harrier left in England, survey finds

The Times – Only four breeding pairs left of hen harriers

The I – Hen Harriers are on the brink of extinction in England

Belfast Telegraph – Only four breeding pairs of Hen Harriers left in England, survey says

East London and West Essex Guardian – Only four breeding pairs of Hen Harrier left in England, survey finds

Sunday Post – Hen Harrier population suffers decline in Scotland


I guess there are more things than this but I cannot find any coverage in the Guardian for example.

You’ll notice that most of the coverage and many of the headlines are very very similar – they are mostly cut and paste versions of the RSPB press releases issued in Scotland and from Sandy.  There is little analysis and little challenge of those who should be reducing wildlife crime. In fact there is not a great deal of difference between the coverage of this story in The Times and in the East London and West Essex Guardian!

Proper journalism would do the following: 1, what happened?, 2) why did it happen?, 3) what’s the solution?  We haven’t seen much of that in the coverage of this story.


Hen Harrier Day rallies will be held in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on 5 and 6 August this year – for initial details see here.



6 Replies to “UK Hen Harrier survey results – what they say (2)”

  1. Guess you haven’t seen the GWCT response yet – calling for a “limited cull” of hen harriers to – supposedly – put things back in balance ……

  2. Hi Mark, look forward to hearing YOUR opinion as to why the hen harrier population has reduced in recent years on the Isle of Man?

    1. Adrian – I don’t know much about the IoM – that’s why I’m pleased someone will be writing a guest blog. What do YOU think (and why are YOU using capitals in that strange way?)?

      But actually, they went up in recent years didn’t they? only from 29 to 30 pairs, but the last time I looked that was up.

      Do you think that HH from IoM go to the mainland and run the gauntlet of the grouse moors?

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