Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hen Harriers Persecuted in Britain

These birds of prey are being seriously threatened by shootings, poisonings and other attempts to disrupt breeding on grouse moors, probably by gamekeepers on estates. (Grouse are a bird species which the hen harriers hunt and their population is also declining. There is a great deal of controversy as to the effect of the hen harriers on the grouse. Some say they are a factor in the declining numbers.

From the Guardian...

One of Britain's most threatened birds of prey, the hen harrier, is being almost entirely eradicated from grouse moors because of systematic persecution, a new report has found.

A study by bird of prey experts has estimated that only 1% of the naturally occurring number of hen harriers are successfully breeding on the UK's grouse moors, because a large majority are poisoned, shot or disturbed to protect stocks. The study's results, described as "deplorable" by one senior conservationist, were published by Scottish Natural Heritage.

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