Calluna Calling

“‘Calluna’, a female harrier, was tagged this summer at a nest on the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge estate, near Braemar. We were monitoring her transmitter’s data which showed that she fledged from the nest in July. She left the area in early August, and gradually headed east over the Deeside moors. However, while the tag data showed it to be working perfectly, transmissions abruptly ended on 12th August, with no further data transmitted. Calluna’s last recorded position was on a grouse moor a few miles north of Ballater, in the Cairngorms National Park.” http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/skydancer/b/skydancer/archive/2017/09/01/calluna-has-disappeared.aspx

Representatives of the shooting lobby have already stated the ridiculous. My work is done.

Response of Scottish Land & Estates – “Estates in the area have welcomed a number of hen harriers to the area during August and only today one moor reported three harriers. Local land managers reject the inference that the loss of signal from this tag is connected to grouse moor management and are now offering every assistance in searching the area where the last transmission was recorded.“

Response of Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association – “The SGA would urge anyone who saw the bird or knows anything about it to contact Police Scotland. This is the first we have heard of this. Obviously any news like this is very disappointing. The SGA condemns raptor persecution and if any of our members are convicted of a wildlife crime they are removed from our organisation. We have learned from those monitoring tags that birds can move some distance away from where they were last recorded so it is important that, if people know anything, they alert the Police immediately.”

Response of Scottish Association for Country Sports – “We would remind the RSPB that tag technology can fail for a number of reasons, and that raptors are susceptible to natural causes of death as well as to illegal persecution.“

From https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/satellite-tagged-hen-harrier-disappears-on-grouse-moor-in-cairngorms-national-park/

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Hounded

“PR disasters for the UK’s shooting industry dog the opening of the pheasant season …
A catalogue of incidents, including the government-sanctioned killing of buzzards to ‘protect’ pheasants so they can be shot later and the RSPB’s recent withdrawal of its support for the Hen Harrier Action Plan (because of continued persecution of these protected birds of prey on grouse moors), are shining a spotlight into the murky secrets of the commercial shooting industry.” (http://www.league.org.uk/news-and-opinion/press-releases/2016/sept/kill-a-buzzard-save-a-pheasant-then-kill-the-pheasant)

The UK’s shooting industry dog has had its day.

Small Mammals of Prey

“Landowners and shooting groups said it was too early to tell whether the voluntary arrangements under the action plan had failed.
They accuse the RSPB of ignoring other reasons for the hen harriers decline, such as weather and the activities of other predators, including voles.” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/07/countryside-groups-split-over-hen-harrier-conservation-plan/)

Curses, the campaign targeting grouse shooters as responsible for the near-extinction of hen harriers is rumbled as the true culprits emerge: vegetarian, hedgerow-dwelling small mammals.

If this smells fishier than an osprey’s talons to you, please consider signing and sharing the petition to ban driven grouse shooting – or read more about the case at Missing Hen Harriers: time for zero tolerance.

Gone Harrier

“A lot of work went into establishing the six long-term actions which stakeholders and groups believed would help stabilize then, ultimately, increase population levels of these rare birds.” (https://basc.org.uk/blog/press-releases/latest-news/basc-disappointed-as-rspb-abandons-hen-harrier-programme/)

The grouse shooting community should be congratulated for the considerable effort they have invested in stabilising the hen harrier population level at zero.

Please consider signing and sharing the petition to ban driven grouse shooting. Or read more about the case at Missing Hen Harriers: time for zero tolerance.

Raptor Fractions

“The number of breeding pairs of hen harriers in England so far this year ranges between 0 and 1.” (https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/how-many-hen-harriers-breeding-in-england-this-year/)

0.5 of a breeding pair? Just out of interest, is it hermaphrodite?

Please sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting.

Henaction

“‘I welcome this plan – not because it is perfect, it isn’t – but because it reflects real potential for progress on one of the most deep-rooted conflicts in conservation. We needed action. The prize is that the landowners are now part of the conversation. The test will be if we succeed in getting the hen harrier flying again over upland England. This is progress,’ said Martin Harper, director of the RSPB.” (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/14/long-awaited-plan-to-save-englands-hen-harrier-gets-green-light)

Potential for progress, is, as Mark Avery succinctly puts it, inaction.

The petition to ban driven grouse shooting has over 30,000 signatures and only a few days left…

Once, Twice, Grice

“The probability of 5 or more male Hen Harriers disappearing through ‘normal’ levels of mortality over a breeding period from 9 nests is 0.0033% … So there must be something pretty odd happening.” (http://markavery.info/2015/09/22/wondering2/)

Yes, that’s a 1 in over 30,000 chance. Pretty unlikely. Well done the grouse shooting industry for allowing us to experience such a rare event.

Please sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting.