As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

First cross-border initiative tries to save threatened bird

Wednesday 22 October 2014

The first truly cross-border joint initiative to secure a future for one of the UK's most threatened but spectacular birds of prey has been launched.

The European-funded Hen Harrier LIFE+ Project is an ambitious five-year programme of direct conservation action. It is focusing on seven Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated for breeding hen harriers in southern and eastern Scotland and northern England,

Scotland holds the bulk of the UK breeding population, mostly on Orkney, the Hebrides and parts of the western mainland.

The hen harrier used to be widespread and familiar in the uplands of Britain. However, by 1900 persecution by game preservers and skin and egg collectors had pushed the bird of prey to extinction as a breeding species on the UK mainland.

Although it has clawed back some of its lost ground, its diet of birds and small mammals includes red grouse, thereby bringing the species into conflict with man, despite special legal protection.

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