Search Results for: hen harrier

Hen Harriers: not very good at being – er, Hen Harriers?

Maybe Hen Harriers are simply not very good at being Hen Harriers? Maybe the evolutionary adaptations to the harsh conditions, the specialised feeding rituals, the cryptic plumages, the non-specific diet which means these birds will eat almost anything they can catch…just don’t work? Or maybe, asks Charlie Moores, it’s more to do with illegal raptor persecution…

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Three young Montagu’s Harriers killed in the Netherlands

“A colleague who was about to place a protection cage around a nest of Montagu’s Harriers found a very clear form of bird-of-prey hatred. Near the nest were three dead young Montagu’s Harriers in the middle of the road. Together with our colleague, the immediate surroundings of the nest were examined and there were clear traces of a human walking to and from the nest. It can be concluded from this that someone knowingly took three young of this rare species from the nest, killed them and left them openly on the road.” Grauwe Kiekendief – Kenniscentrum Akkervogels, Augst 2020.

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JustGiving | Peter Howe’s Project #camtag

The licencing of grouse moors is now the default position for many conservationists working to stop the illegal persecution of Hen Harriers, and while we (mostly) respect the conservationists involved we have very, very little respect for the idea of sanctioning grouse shooting, permitting the ongoing slaughter of native predators in traps and snares, and hoping against hope that the vague threat of an unenforceable licencing system will stop highly experienced wildlife criminals that have been getting away with it for years from continuing on down the same path. Call us cynical, but it seems to us that licencing is exactly what the raptor persecutionists want: once they’ve ticked the box and been granted licences, that will effectively be the end of trying to stop grouse shooting. And while there is grouse shooting there will always be the illegal killing of Hen Harriers, Golden Eagles, Goshawks and whatever avian threat estates imagine might impact their profits in the years to come…Is there an alternative? Step forward Peter Howe, founder of 3rd Eye Technology (3ET), and his ingenious idea to develop a tiny camera that could sit alongside the satellite tags that are fitted to more and more birds of prey.

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RSPB calls for a ban on peatland burning: why?

There are many reasons to loathe the grouse shooting industry: it’s built entirely around the shooting of wild birds (Red Grouse) and the trapping/snaring of vast (unrecorded so no-one knows just how vast) numbers of native predators (from mountain hares and foxes to mustelids and corvids); it’s underpinned by wildlife crime that is provably crushing populations of raptors on grouse moors (especially Hen Harriers and Golden Eagles); and it depends on the regular burning of blanket bogs and peatland to promote the growth of young heather (the grouse feed on young heather shoots and this damaging practice has been taking place for more than 150 years now). Now the RSPB has called for a ban on burning in the uplands. Why is that? Hopefully the following will go some way to explain…

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Wild Justice | Ban the Shooting of Badgers petition one day on

Wild Justice petition smashes through 16,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.
Natural England Chair Tony Juniper (or ‘the former conservationist Tony Juniper’ as he is being referred to on social media) must be wondering what on earth he got himself into when he signed off on more badger killing to protect the dairy industry, poorly-thought out General Licences to protect shooting, and Hen Harrier brood meddling to – er, protect shooting…No doubt NE’s lobbyist chums at BASC and the NFU will tell him to ignore the ‘animal rights extremists’ who care about wildlife in ways that he would have once professed to understand (and even perhaps once shared) but it must be getting harder to ignore the pressures the public are bringing to bear on stopping the slaughter of our wildlife on behalf of industry…

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Wiltshire teen arrested on raptor persecution charge

All birds of prey are protected by law (and have been for more than half a century (see The Protection of Birds Act, 1954), but as most of us know all too well illegal persecution is taking place across the UK. Stories like the article we’ve reproduced from the Swindon Advertiser are sadly commonplace, but this one has a particular resonance because the part of Wiltshire featured in the Advertiser is actually pretty close to an important (if absolutely misguided and contentious) raptor ‘reintroduction’ project…Natural England’s Hen Harrier ‘brood meddling’ scheme (see Hen Harrier Brood-meddling 101 for details), which aims to placate grouse moor owners by moving Hen Harrier chicks off grouse moors and putting them – as NE desperately claims – somewhere safe: south Wiltshire.

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