Statement about the disappearance of another hen harrier on National Park Moorland

Hen harrier Mark Hamblin 2020vision

An investigation has been started by the RSPB and the police. The RSPB said, “This is the 9th bird to disappear in suspicious circumstances in the last 12 weeks.”

 “The disappearance of Arthur, a Hen Harrier raised and fledged from the only Peak District nest of this rare species this year, is deeply disturbing. Arthur, who was satellite tagged, went missing close to a grouse moor in North Yorkshire recently. Arthur was one of 4 chicks that left the nest this summer in the uplands of the Peak District National Park. Another bird from this nest went missing on a grouse moor at Broomhead  Estate on the outskirts of Sheffield only a few weeks ago. Altogether 9 Hen Harriers raised this summer have disappeared across the country. Illegal persecution of these very rare birds is strongly suspected. This is a wildlife crime and needs to stop. We want our national parks to be full of wildlife that everyone can enjoy and we will continue to work relentlessly to achieve this.” Said Tim Birch, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

This is a wildlife crime and needs to stop
Tim Birch
Head of Living Landscapes North, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

The hen harrier is one of the most endangered breeding birds of prey in the country. It has been severely persecuted for taking game species and has suffered massive declines in numbers as a result. Conservation projects are underway to reduce conflict surrounding its controversial prey but so much more needs to be done to stop the devastating decline in its numbers.