Injured goshawk found in Peak District National Park had previously been shot

This has been reported a bit messily but essentially the bottom line is that an x-ray of an injured goshawk found in the Peak District National Park last winter has revealed it had been previously shot.

The bird, initially mistaken as a peregrine, was first reported injured by a Derbyshire Police Wildlife Crime Officer on social media in November 2018:

According to this news report, the x-ray didn’t reveal any problems and the cause of the bird’s wing injury was unknown. Although according to this blog from the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group, the x-ray showed a small piece of shot, but with no entry or exit wound this was determined to have been the result of an earlier shooting at an unknown time and location.

Last week Derbyshire Police provided a further update on social media, six months on:

As we’ve previously reported (e.g. here), goshawks (and several other raptor species, especially peregrines and hen harriers) have been struggling in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park for several decades due to on-going illegal persecution.

10 Responses to “Injured goshawk found in Peak District National Park had previously been shot”

  1. 1 John Winterbottom
    May 13, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Some interesting comment on the facebook post https://www.facebook.com/DerbyshireWildlifeCrime/posts/641860972955629

  2. May 13, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Not at all surprising.
    Although Gos are doing very well in UK, that discreet population surrounded by grouse moors holds only a fraction of the breeding pairs that were there in the 1980’s/ 90’s and is easily destroyed.
    The published national figures for breeding Gos only show 1/4 to 1/3 of the true numbers thankfully.
    Some of us that provide schedule 1 returns often only detail some nests, so the true population is much greater.
    Sometimes a little lack of clarity is helpful to them !
    They are also present in areas where they are not surveyed.

    Keep up the pressure !

  3. May 13, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    I forgot to mention that they are also doing well on the island of Ireland following reintroduction.
    The UK and Ireland total population at the end of the breeding season is now around 6000 Goshawks !
    Not bad for a [ largely ] illegal reintroduction of a native species !

    Keep up the pressure !

  4. 4 Dougie
    May 13, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Incidents like this trigger thoughts that suggest there is bound to be a group of raptor casualties that we know next to nothing about.
    In addition to those killed that are found there are birds that were killed, but not found.
    Then there is the group of injured birds that survive with injuries of varying degree that are never discovered. I suspect that this group forms a fairly large percentage of the overall casualties.

  5. May 13, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    ‘But it does suggest that at some point the bird may have been shot at by the use of a shot gun.’
    Sherlock Holmes can rest peacefully.

  6. 7 Merlin
    May 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I respectfully have to disagree with you Sennan, Goshawks take pheasants in and around release pens as well as Grouse out on the Moors, the incident a year or two ago reported on here of “criminals” trespassing onto forestry commission land and shooting at nesting Goshawks shows the lengths these people will go to persecute this species, the current population figures of around 430 pairs has remained at that level for some years, I would argue that Goshawks are persecuted even more than Hen Harriers, their secretive nature being their downfall here you have a bird that is equal to the peregrine in it’s ability to hunt avian prey and out performs the Buzzard in its ability to hunt mammalian prey, all similar sized predators yet both the Peregrine and Buzzard have increased their numbers all be it away from shooting estates, the secretive nature of our Goshawks is preventing them from establishing populations in towns and cities as they have done in some parts of Europe, hopefully one day this will happen here.

    • 8 Nigel-John Bastin
      May 14, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      I have studied goshawk for more than forty years and yes their numbers are increasing in areas away from grouse moors I studied two pairs that bred in County Durham up until three years ago and the local shoot would go to any length to eradicate them if they found them I even put a camera in place to try and catch the keepers shooting through the nests when found but they simply shot the camera distroying the SD card therefore losing any vital evidence, goshawk are the most persecuted raptor in our country they will never breed like they do in Europe in towns and cities due to local persecution, I lived and worked in Antwerp Belgium during the early eighties and studied goshawk breeding in local graveyards of Antwerp they were different in that they were more approachable due to no problem of persecution.

      • 9 Les Wallace
        May 15, 2019 at 1:30 am

        A couple of years ago I read the excellent ‘Looking for the Goshawk’ by Conor Mark Jameson. He made the really interesting point that in the UK the birds that would be most approachable and are more tolerant of living and nesting near people would be the easiest to spot and bump off especially when persecution is widespread. In this country unnatural selection would work very much against the innate behaviour that allows about 40 pairs of the bird to live in Berlin. That’s bloody tragic. There’s a local, non shooting, estate which I always thought is tremendously ‘goshawky’ with a mix of mature conifers and broadleaf over a fair sized area and is absolutely heaving with rooks, jackdaws, crows and wood pigeon. Over the years there have been just two sightings of goshawk there, why would such prime territory continue to be empty year after year if the goshawk population was expanding as it should? Goshawk persecution must be rife.

  7. 10 Accipiter
    May 15, 2019 at 11:18 am

    It must be remembered that in the Southern Peak District, there is a thriving Goshawk population, centred on Pheasant shooting estates. This stands comparison with anywhere in the UK.

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