The results of the 2014 Peregrine survey are now published (not very quickly).
It’s good to see the detail although the overview results have been available for quite a while. Peregrines have done well in the lowlands and badly in the uplands.
We already know (since 2011) at an even finer grain, for northern England, that within the uplands Peregrines do much better on moorlands not managed for grouse shooting than those that are – although the minister hasn’t seemed to assimilate this evidence.
Sometimes I wonder whether we, including myself, bang on about Hen Harriers just a little too much. If persecution of Hen Harriers ceased tomorrow, of which there is no sign, then there would still be plenty of wildlife crime associated with grouse moors. Peregrines, Red Kites, Short-eared Owls, Goshawks and even the Buzzard are victims on the grouse moors. Nothing in Defra’s Hen Harrier inaction Plan is a solution for other birds of prey. After all, as well as being a completely inadequate plan for Hen Harriers, it is no plan at all for wildlife crime associated with intensive grouse shooting.
Remember that when Hen Harriers were being fed at Langholm the finger of blame, despite any real evidence that I have seen so far, was pointed at Buzzards.
You risk your life if you are a Goshawk nesting in a plantation next to a grouse moor too.
There is no feasible solution to the conflict between intensive grouse moor management and wildlife because many raptors will eat Red Grouse at times, and the grouse shooting industry is greedy and out of any control.
No, we won’t see a proper recovery in Peregrine numbers until we put an end to driven grouse shooting – and you can help do that by signing here.