persecution wiping out hen harriers on UK grouse moors

A new study suggests that the hen harrier is being almost entirely eradicated from UK grouse moors by systematic persecution.

The report, soon-to-be-published by Scottish Natural Heritage and authored by the UK’s leading harrier scientist, Professor Stephen Redpath, estimated that between 2003-07 there should have been 499 breeding hen harrier pairs on the 3,696km2 of grouse moors across Britain which were being “driven”, or actively used for shooting, in those years. A UK-wide survey in 2008 then found only five breeding pairs had survived – a 1% success rate.

Click here for news article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/oct/18/hen-harriers-grouse-moors

In the same news article, and following on from our last blog entry, confirmation is given that a fourth golden eagle has been found poisoned in the Scottish Highlands this year, making 2010 the worst year for golden eagle poisoning in the last two decades.

Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish Environment Minister, said the cluster of persecution cases added further weight to calls for tougher legal powers on bird of prey persecution in Scotland.

We live in hope, Roseanna.

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