Saving hen harriers in Britain


This video from Britain is called Hen Harrier Facing Extinction; BBC Inside Out.

From Wildlife Extra:

RSPB take action to protect Hen Harriers

Hen Harriers continue to be under threat in the UK

In a European Union-supported project, the RSPB are working toward creating a safe and sustainable future for the endangered Hen Harrier in the UK.

The organisation’s five-year programme, named the Hen Harrier Life+ Project, will focus on direct conservation action as well as community engagement and raising awareness among the public about the plight of the bird of prey.

The project will focus on seven sites in northern England, and southern and eastern Scotland that have been designated as Hen Harrier nesting sites under the European Union Birds Directive.

These are areas where the birds frequently come into conflict with humans. In northern England, and in southern, central and eastern Scotland where land is managed for Red Grouse hunting, Hen Harriers are frequently shot in spite of being legally protected.

Their persecution by humans is a long-running story, and in 1900 the birds became extinct on the British mainland. Although they have been making a comeback in the British Isles, their population still has a long road to recovery.

Between 2004 and 2010, the National Hen Harrier Survey recorded an 18 per cent decline in the UK Hen Harrier population. By 2013 the birds had experienced their worst breeding season in England for decades, failing to rear chicks anywhere in the country. But in 2014 things began to look up for the birds in Britain; at the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, 46 young fledged from 12 nests. However the birds fared less well in England where there were four Hen Harrier nests, but due to natural deaths and unexplained disappearances of three birds that were satellite-tagged, only nine of the 16 chicks that fledged are thought to still be alive.

Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project will be working with landowners and the shooting community to raise awareness about the birds in order to ensure their future. It will also link up with and support the work of PAWS Raptor Group ‘Heads Up for Hen Harriers’ project, which includes the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, and conservation and landowning interests.

Blánaid Denman, Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project manager, explains: “The project is not about RSPB fixing things on our own but about bringing together a whole conservation community, from organisations to individuals, working together to secure a future for hen harriers in our uplands.”

As well as working with volunteers and other organisations in order to actively monitor the birds in the wild, the project is also working with gamekeeping students, professional gamekeepers, and landowners.

Defra, the RSPB and other stakeholders are currently working on drafting an emergency recovery plan for Hen Harriers in England. Although the final plan is still to be agreed, the initial draft received widespread support from the shooting community.

Hen harriers in Groningen, the Netherlands: here.

Ireland: Investigation after protected hen harrier shot dead in Kerry: here.

A young female Hen Harrier known to thousands of people who had followed her since her first flight from a nest in east Kerry two years ago was recently found shot dead. ‘Heather’, who was named by local school children in Duhallow, captured the imaginations of all who followed her progress as she travelled throughout the country, before recently returning to the south-west where it was hoped she would breed for the first time this spring: here.

Hen harriers in Drenthe, the Netherlands: here. Hen harriers in Groningen: here.

10 thoughts on “Saving hen harriers in Britain

  1. Pingback: Texel island bird news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Welsh bird news update | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Bird news from Slovakia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Britain’s national bird, final voting | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: How marsh harrier William lives | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Birds of Slufter nature reserve, Texel island | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Hen harrier nest webcam, unique worldwide | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Hen harrier news from Terschelling island | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Raptor migration on Terschelling island | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Beetles rediscovered in England after over a century | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.