This weekend (5-6 February) the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) is transporting 7 black vultures (Aegypius monachus from Spain to France. The vultures are coming from Spanish recovery centers in Extremadura and Andalucia, and will be released back in the wild for the reintroduction projects in Verdon and Baronnies – France.
So far this year, a total of 30 pairs of bearded vultures in the captive breeding network have laid a total of 47 eggs – this compares with 58 eggs laid in total last year from 36 pairs. The first hatching happened last Saturday in the Guadalentin specialized captive breeding centre, managed by the Fundation Gyapetus and financed by the Junta de Andalusia – and yesterday (2 January) one of the eggs laid by the pair in Yerevan zoo – one of our newest partners in the captive breeding network – has also hatched! (see photo).
Derbyshire Police and the RSPB are appealing for information following the illegal killing of two birds of prey near to Glossop, Derbyshire. A £1000 reward has been offered by the RSPB for information leading to a conviction.
After a 5 month period the Derbyshire police and RSPB are now asking the public to help bring those responsible to justice for the killing of an Osprey and 2 Buzzards in the county. We would like to ask the obvious question, why has it taken so long to ask for the public’s assistance? Normally the best chance of identifying those involved in crimes like these is within the first twenty four hours when the crime scene is still viable, and not almost a half year later.
How many more articles and scientific papers are going to be written about the loss of Hen Harriers from our moorlands? Here is yet another one, this time from from North East Scotland – ‘The past, current and potential status of breeding Hen Harriers in North-east Scotland’ by Graham Rebecca, Brian Cosnette, Jim Craib, Alistair Duncan, Brian Etheridge, Ian Francis, Jon Hardey, Alastair Pout and Logan Steele. Printed in the February edition of British Birds This article claims the area should have at least 100 pairs but numbers have fallen from 20+ to 5+. No surprise there then. There is even a swing at Scottish Natural Heritage for not providing one important moorland habitat with a Special Protection Area ( SPA) classification! A double ‘No surprise there then’.
This heather habitat classified as an SPA,destroyed deliberately to prevent Hen Harriers breeding. So an SPA classification for our moorlands does not automatically result in more Hen Harriers.
What a success story the Red Kite reintroduction has been for those lucky areas where these fantastic birds has taken place, with Chilterns, Dumfries and Galloway, Northampton and Yorkshire standing out as great successes. Then there are the ones like the Black Isle, Perthshire in Scotland, Gateshead and Grizedale in England where persecution has taken its toll on numbers and prevented a gradual movement away from these areas.
Two American Bald Eagles have each been found shot and killed in just 2 weeks, the second eagle was recovered in Southeast Missouri. Missouri Department of Conservation Agent Candice Davis told KFVS-TV (WATCH THE VIDEO)that an eagle’s body was recovered in Reynolds County on Friday 29 January. The first Bald Eagle discovered had been shot and killed in Wayne County on the 24 January.
The corpse of a second second Bald Eagle was found shot and killed on 24 January near Patterson, Wayne County
At one end of the country, conservation groups are doing all they can to stop the burning of moors.
Challenging the grouse shooting estates, for example, the RSPB argues that “there is an urgent need to restore these landscapes by bringing an end to burning.”
Moorland last year ablaze in the Forest of Bowland. Far too often estates burn those moorland areas selected by Hen Harriers to establish their breeding territories
Two Bearded Vulture eggs being incubated in captivity
The results of a very interesting research project undertaken by Mauro Hernández from the Facultad de Veterinaria of the Universidad Complutense Madrid were revealed today 27/01/2016.
This important story is being republished here for a second time because a number of our followers have voiced concerns that DEFRA’s 6 point proposals will do nothing to advance the cause of the Hen Harrier. Importantly, DEFRA have not addressed the root cause behind the loss of Hen Harriers from moorland in northern England where red grouse are shot, i.e., persecution. The second reason we are republishing is to provide our followers an opportunity to read the important comments below. Several individuals have added their comments about possible RSPB proposals/or lack of, suitable contingency plans this season to save deserted eggs found in any abandoned Hen Harrier nests brought about by the disappearance of male Hen Harriers which had been servicing breeding females. Last year 5 male Hen Harriers disappeared, presumed shot, resulting in at least 4 occupied nests containing eggs being abandoned and their eggs allowed to go cold. No one wants to see a repetition of this waste of eggs that could have been saved.
Stephen Murphy National Hen Harrier Coordinator holding satellite tagged Harrier which after fledging disappeared.
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