News has now emerged about both of the missing Hen Harriers from the controversial brood-meddled nest of this year (see these two blog posts by Raptor Persecution UK 2nd brood meddled hen harrier chick vanished from grouse moor in Yorkshire Dales National Park and Brood meddled hen harrier chick vanished from grouse moor on Bowes Estate, County Durham).
So both birds disappeared on grouse moors and both are the subject of police investigations. That’s a long way from the press release by the Moorland Association issued 10 days ago where Amanda Anderson said:
Most of the birds have been content to fly around the uplands and grouse moors which is territory they know and like. The adventures of the bird which travelled further afield are extraordinaryhttps://markavery.info/2019/09/29/press-release-moorland-association/
Yes, Amanda, the trouble is that although Hen Harriers ‘like’ grouse moors those who manage grouse moors, mostly your own members or their employees, don’t ‘like’ Hen Harriers and so their exciting adventures often end in misadventure.
And in the same press release Andrew Gilruth of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust said;
…these young birds appear perfectly content to silently move across vast swathes of the country, without anyone appearing to have the faintest idea.https://markavery.info/2019/09/29/press-release-moorland-association/
Yes indeed, Andrew, except on grouse moors they are occasionally noticed and then the birds’ contentment comes to a bloody end.
Remember that this press release was issued without the knowledge or approval of either the police or Natural England. Natural England licensed this brood meddling trial and are allegedly partners in this work but aare being taken for a ride by shooting interests.
These two birds now form two more data points of the sort that led to the publication earlier this year of a scientific analysis of such birds which said;
Using data from 58 satellite tracked hen harriers, we show high rates of unexpected tag failure and low first year survival compared to other harrier populations. The likelihood of harriers dying or disappearing increased as their use of grouse moors increased.https://markavery.info/2019/03/19/long-awaited-scientific-paper-nails-grouse-moor-crimes/
…harriers were ten times more likely to die … or disappear … in areas dominated by grouse moorshttps://markavery.info/2019/03/19/long-awaited-scientific-paper-nails-grouse-moor-crimes/
Bowes Moor in Durham where one of these birds disappeared is in the North Pennines AONB and Askrigg Common is in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The limp Glover Review published recently ducked the issue of wildlife crime and couldn’t even bring itself to talk about this issue execept by referring to ‘the lack of species which one would expect to see in the upland landscape‘. Wilful blindness is alive and well.
Rampant wildlife crime is just one of the reasons to add your name to over 109,000 others calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting.
Please sign this e-petition calling for driven grouse shooting to be banned.