Summary of Natural England’s Hen Harrier satellite tagging data 2007 – 2014

We recently received an enquiry from one of our followers asking if we had access to any  data applicable to the number and where abouts of the Hen Harriers which had been tagged under Natural England’s satellite tagging programme. In response to this request we have published known data collated between 2007 – 2014: This important detail tells a disturbing and tragic story, indicating the real possibility the majority of all Hen Harriers fitted with satellite tags met their maker by direct human persecution.


Stephen Murphy the National Hen Harrier Coordinator holding a satellite tagged hen harrier.

The information contained within the tables below confirms what many people already suspect, that a majority of the missing tagged Hen Harriers have been killed. What we and many other people find curious, indeed disturbing, is why each of locations where the bulk of the missing hen harrier were tracked before disappeared has so far never been made public by Natural England? Surely publishing such important data must be in the public interest, keeping such information secret only gives more support to those involved in the killing of this endangered moorland specie? This has clearly been demonstrated by the loss of Skye and Hope from grouse moors in Bowland last year, followed by the disappearance of the 5 male Hen Harriers this season from Bowland and Geltsdale. It is now reasonable to assume all 7 Harriers were illegally despatched on grouse moors.

Please note information in table 1 has been replicated in table 2.

ID Sex Nest Date tagged Last accurate fix date Location (and bird name) Grid reference Bird status
73587 F Bowland 22/06/2007 25/10/2007 Bowland   Sighted alive after last fix
73590 F Bowland 19/06/2007 30/10/2007 Yorkshire   Missing
73589 F Bowland 29/06/2007 09/09/2007 Cumbria NY80 Missing
73582 M Bowland 07/07/2007 23/10/2007 County Durham   Missing
73586 F Northern England 26/06/2007 05/10/2007 Yorkshire SD87 Missing
73583 F Northumberland 07/07/2007 03/09/2007 Northumberland   Missing
33325 M IoM 04/07/2007 27/06/2008 Isle of Man SC27 Missing
33334 F IoM 04/07/2007 23/07/2009 Isle of Man SC39 Missing
33328 M IoM 04/07/2007 14/07/2007 Isle of Man SC38 Missing
33335 F IoM 05/07/2007 05/08/2008 Isle of Man NY40 Missing
33324 F IoM 05/07/2007 05/07/2007 Isle of Man SC38 Missing
73591 F Bowland 21/06/2008 22/09/2008 Bowland   Missing
73584 M Bowland 17/06/2008 16/05/2009 Bowland   Missing
73588 F Bowland 07/07/2008 29/09/2008 Bowland   Missing
90688 M Northern England 16/07/2009 01/09/2009 Yorkshire NY91 Missing
90689 F Northern England 16/07/2009 27/09/2009 Yorkshire SE06 Missing
90691 F Bowland 22/06/2009 16/02/2010 Yorkshire SE69 Missing
94590 M Bowland 22/06/2009 25/06/2009 Bowland   Missing
94589 M Bowland 29/06/2009 17/08/2009 Yorkshire SD98 Missing
90687 M Bowland 18/06/2010 22/10/2010 Lincolnshire TF29 Missing
90690 F Bowland 22/06/2010 26/07/2010 Bowland   Missing
94591 F Bowland 23/06/2010 18/08/2010 Bowland   Missing
94588 M Bowland 19/06/2010 22/10/2010 Dorset ST80 Dead – Recovered, emaciated
58870 F Bowland 12/07/2010 21/08/2010 Bowland   Missing
94592 F Northern England 29/06/2010 21/12/2010 SW Scotland NX99 Dead – Recovered, worm burden
58945 F Northern England 29/06/2010 25/11/2010 Yorkshire SD78 Missing
58867 F Langholm 25/06/2010 15/10/2010 Lothian NT56 Missing
58946 F Langholm 25/06/2010 27/09/2010 Langholm NY38 Missing (recovered tag only)
58872 M Langholm 25/06/2010 29/11/2011 Brittany, France (McPedro)   Missing
58941 M Langholm1 21/06/2011 08/11/2011 Normandy, France   Missing
95133 F Langholm2 19/07/2011 17/10/2011 Midlothian NT34 Missing
58943 F Langholm1 21/06/2011 23/08/2011 Cumbria NY64 Missing
74842 M Bowland 28/06/2011 10/11/2011 Brittany, France   Missing
74843 F Bowland 22/06/2011 05/07/2012 Yorkshire (Bowland Betty) SE17 Dead – Recovered, persecuted
74832 F Northern England 25/06/2012 09/10/2012 Yorkshire (Kristina) SE07 Missing
74931 M Northern England 26/06/2012 04/09/2012 Yorkshire (Thomas) SD89 Missing
74926 F Langholm 06/08/2012 11/09/2012 Lothian and Borders, Scotland (Blae) NT44 Dead – Recovered, emaciated
94588a M Langholm 06/08/2012 04/10/2012 Northumberland (Barry)   Missing
117313 F Langholm 1 05/07/2013 Transmitting October 2014 Langholm (bred 2014) (Grainne)   Alive
117315 F Langholm 1 05/07/2013 14/07/2014 County Antrim, Northern Ireland (Miranda) NW45 Alive. Sighted after last fix
117314 F Langholm 2 18/07/2013 Transmitting October 2014 Langholm (bred 2014) (Hattie)   Alive
117316 M Langholm 2 18/07/2013 14/10/2013 Shropshire (Blue) SJ50 Missing
58946a F Langholm 2 19/06/2014 Transmitting October 2014 SW Scotland (Annie) NS90 Alive
137859 M Langholm 3 19/06/2014 21/09/2014 Yorkshire (Sid) SD88 Missing
137372 F Northern England 26/06/2014 14/08/2014 Cumbria (JoAnne) NY51 Dead – Recovered, emaciated
137369 F Northern England 26/06/2014 01/09/2014 Yorkshire (Imogen) SE06 Missing
137372a F Peak District 19/08/2014 03/09/2014 Derbyshire (NaTalie)   Dead – Recovered, suspected worm burden


Bearing in mind that the Hen Harrier is on the verge of extinction after being subjected to extensive systematic illegal persecution on heather moorland used to shoot red grouse for decades, we are making an important appeal to all our UK followers. Many of you may be completely unaware of a petition launched this year by the RSPB’s former Conservation Director, Dr Mark Avery calling for a total ban on all driven grouse shooting in England. The idea behind this important initiative was to force the Westminster Government to debate the plight of our Hen Harrier in parliament before they become extinct and to ban driven grouse shooting altogether in England. After examining the data published in the two tables above you may be able to understand that if the killing is not halted immediately the Hen Harrier in England is destined to follow the Dodo into oblivion and extinction. We just can not sit back and do nothing, so we are asking everyone who so far has not signed this crucial petition to do so today before it’s too late.

Petition: Ban driven grouse shooting

Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which damages protected wildlife sites, increases water pollution, increases flood risk, increases greenhouse gas emissions and too often leads to the illegal killing of protected wildlife such as Hen Harriers.
Intensive management of upland areas for the ‘sport’ of grouse shooting has led to the near-extinction of the protected Hen Harrier in England, as well as increased risk of flooding, discolouration of drinking water, degradation of peat bogs and impacts on other wildlife.
Grouse shooting interests have persecuted the Hen Harrier to such an extent that, despite full legal protection for the last 60 years, it is almost extinct as a breeding species in England (2 pairs nested in 2013) despite there being habitat available for 300+ pairs. The investigation of wildlife crimes against such protected species is time-consuming, difficult to prosecute, and ties up valuable police resources.
Grouse shooters have failed to put their own house in order, despite decades of discussion, and government has proved incapable of influencing this powerful lobby group.
The time has now come for the public to call ‘Enough!’ and require the government to ban driven grouse shooting in England.

Petition Ban driven grouse shooting

Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which damages protected wildlife sites, increases water pollution, increases flood risk, increases greenhouse gas emissions and too often leads to the illegal killing of protected wildlife such as Hen Harriers.

Sign this petition

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At 100,000 signatures…

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

Share this petition

Please sign the petition HERE.



2 comments to Summary of Natural England’s Hen Harrier satellite tagging data 2007 – 2014

  • Tim Sarney

    Female Hen Harrier Holly was satellite tagged in late June 2015 by members of the Scottish Raptor Study Group, assisted by the MOD Police on MOD land at Coulport. She was also ringed, measured and given a general health check. She was found to be fit and well.

    The RSPB has just reported the following: “Unfortunately, recent data received from Holly’s satellite tag suggests that she has died. This is being followed up, and we will provide further information as soon as possible”.

    The implication of this statement, as noted by Raptor Persecution Scotland, is that the bird is presumed dead but the body has not yet been recovered.

    Anothere persecuted Hen Harrier? The data in the article above would indicate that illegal persecution is the most probable cause of death. I wonder where the last positioning data recorded Holly?

  • Gerard Hobley

    Are the grid references given approximate last Known locations?

    Editor’s Comment. As far as we are aware the grid references supplied are either 10 or 100 kilometres square. Bearing this in mind, as you will appreciate this provides Natural England with a huge land mass margin to conceal the exact last know location where each harrier disappeared.