A three-year-old satellite-tagged Montagu’s harrier called ‘Mo’ has ‘disappeared’ in Norfolk.
The bird was one of three sat-tagged adults being monitored as part of an RSPB study on migration routes. The project featured on The One Show last night. The two other tagged harriers have already left the UK and are in Africa.
Mo was known to have left a roost site close to Great Bircham in Norfolk on 8th August. There have been no further signals and it is suspected she has been killed and her sat tag destroyed.
Tellingly, one of the Dutch researchers who had fitted the three tags said: “Since 2005 we have tagged 58 Montagu’s harriers [in mainland Europe], and a sudden loss of signal is exceedingly rare“.
Unfortunately, a sudden loss of signal from a sat-tagged raptor in the UK is anything but rare.
Norfolk Constabulary has launched an investigation and a £5,000 reward has been put up by the project sponsor, Mark Constantine (the man behind Lush, the cosmetic company that has helped promote the plight of another harrier species in the UK, the hen harrier).
News article here.
Norfolk Constabulary press release here
RSPB project on tracking Montagu’s harriers here.
Photo of a Montagu’s harrier by William J S White