Until 6 years ago the Peregrine Falcon was a common sight throughout the Forest of Bowland with at least 18 occupied territories, averaging 11 successful nesting pairs in most seasons. In 2010 numbers of pairs in Bowland began to decline drastically following a campaign of wide scale persecution to enhance Red Grouse numbers. In 2016 – 99% of territories were abandoned resulting from the unprecedented collapse of an entire regional Peregrine population. Under no circumstances must we tell anyone about this tragedy because the shooting estates will be embarrassed. Please donate to support our cause, thank you.
The productive seasons in the Forest of Bowland prior to 2010
Peregrine dead embryo, killed by covering the egg with ice crystals.
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The North West Raptor Group are making an appeal to combat the illegal killing of Peregrine Falcons in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland, situated in the North West of England.
Classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it covers 808 square Kilometers of rural Lancashire and North Yorkshire.
The Forest of Bowland is internationally important for its upland bird populations and under the Habitats Directive “Bowland Fells” are designated a Special Protection Area for specific birds of prey.
The Forest of Bowland may be an SPA, but raptors like Hen Harrier and Peregrine Falcon receive no protection.
In 2009 – 25 Peregrine territories in the Forest of Bowland were examined by the NWRG. 17 sites were occupied, 6 nests failed following the loss of eggs, chicks and adult birds. A total of 11 territories produced 24 fledged young.
In 2010 the Government’s Wildlife Adviser, Natural England, withdrew Peregrine licenses for use in the Forest of Bowland from members of the NWRG, following the group’s disclosure on social media of wide scale raptor persecution throughout this moorland region, where Red Grouse are shot. Other licenses issued to group members since 1974, covering additional raptor species including Peregrine for areas outside the Forest of Bowland remained unaffected.
By 2016, 99% of Bowland Peregrine nesting territories were found abandoned.
The loss of an entire regional population of Peregrines (18 pairs) from the Forest of Bowland is unprecedented.
To protect these Peregrines, the NWRG need your help to purchase the following urgently needed kit: Go-Pro camera – 2 mountain bikes – radio transceivers & infra-red night vision goggles.
Throughout the last 43 years members of the North West Raptor Group have self-funded their work.
If the killing of Peregrines continues, they will be lost forever, not only from the Forest of Bowland but also from the rest of England’s northern uplands, where Red Grouse are shot for sport.