By Crime Reporter on 01/03/2018 at 12:35pm
Durham Constabulary and the RSPB are appealing for information following the disappearance of a satellite-tagged hen harrier near Middleton-in-Teesdale.
The harrier, named Marc, was one of a nest of two chicks tagged as part of the EU-funded Hen Harrier LIFE+ project in July this year from a nest in the Scottish Borders.
Marc’s tag had been transmitting regularly, showing no signs of any problems, until it suddenly stopped on the afternoon of 5 February. Data from Marc’s tag indicated he had been in the same area of upland farmland since late November before moving 10km North West on 27 January to an area of driven grouse moor, from here he posted several positions on the 5 February until 2.04pm, after which the tag inexplicably failed to send any further data.
Second hen harrier disappearance 'devastates' RSPB
4 March 2018
The disappearance of two tagged hen harriers from northern England could threaten the survival of the species, experts say.
Siblings Manu and Marc were fitted with satellite tags after being born in the Scottish Borders last year.
They fledged to northern England, where Manu's tag stopped transmitting in October. Marc's ceased on 5 February.
The RSPB described their disappearance as "absolutely devastating".
Both birds were tagged as part of an EU-funded monitoring programme.
Manu had settled on the Northumberland Cumbria border and Marc near Middleton-in-Teesdale in County Durham.
The latter's tag stopped transmitting over a grouse moor. No damaged tags or remains of the protected birds have been found.