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.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Leading shooting organisations call for hen harrier recovery plan

A number of countryside organisations, including The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, CLA, Countryside Alliance, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWTC), The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, and the Moorland Association have issued a statement calling on Defra to publish a plan for the recovery of hen harriers across England.

Three parts of the recovery plan tackle wildlife crime against the birds and three parts deal with the sustainable growth of the harrier population, although RSPB, a key partner, has yet to approve the plans.

Once a common bird of prey, hen harrier numbers have declined sharply in recent years due to major changes in land use, which have forced them to retreat to breed on upland moorland. This has lead to them being targetted illegally, with much of the blame for their persecution being atrributed to gamekeepers employed on shooting estates.

Last year there were just two breeding attempts, both on or adjacent to moorland managed for red grouse, but no chicks fledged. There have been three known successful nests in 2014, fledging 11 chicks on moorland managed for grouse shooting interests.

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