Joint action plan to increase the English hen harrier population published by DEFRA today.

DEFRA has today decided to publish their Joint Action Plan designed to increase Hen Harrier numbers in England. Interestingly, the DEFRA plan provides no proposals or actions that in our view would bring to an end the illegal killing of hen harriers on grouse moors undertaken by gamekeepers. It is very likely therefore and despite the 6 actions proposed by DEFRA’s joint action plan that the killing of hen harriers on moorland where red grouse are shot will continue.

We have listed below the 6 ‘actions’ that DEFRA hope may contribute to the recovery of the hen harrier in England:

hen harrier terry-

  1. Monitoring of hen harrier populations in England and the UK
  2. Diversionary feeding of hen harriers on grouse moors
  3. Analyse monitoring data and build intelligence picture
  4. Nest and winter roost site protection
  5. Reintroduce hen harriers to southern England
  6. Trial a brood management scheme

You are able to download DEFRA’s Hen Harrier Action Plan here: DEFRA hen-harrier-action-plan-england-2016






3 comments to Joint action plan to increase the English hen harrier population published by DEFRA today.

  • nirofo

    A complete whitewash by DEFRA, the first 3 points are already in operation or have already been trialled. How much more monitoring data do we need to collect and analyse to build an “intelligence picture”. The UK Raptor Study Groups and various other conservation bodies have been coolecting and documenting it for years and are already sitting on piles of monitoring data that has been well analysed. DEFRA are well aware of this fact but choose to keep delaying any meaningful decision on what needs to be done to redress the continual loss of Hen Harriers on the grouse moors due to criminal activity. We all know as does DEFRA what really needs to be done to increase the numbers of not just Hen Harriers but all the other Raptors that are persecuted to extinction level at the hands of the grouse shooting fraternity gamekeepers.

    The idea of a reintroduction program for Hen Harriers in southern England is really a non starter unless the problem of raptor persecution is stopped first, in any case, the harriers are likely to relocate themselves at the first opportunity to territories that suit them and not DEFRA or NE. Once they leave the reintroduction area they again become fair game for any shotgun toting keeper who sees them.

    DEFRA are determined they are going to trial a brood management scheme regardless of the fact that the Raptor Study Groups and various very experienced ornithologists have told them it’s a waste of time and likely to be a waste of already scarce Hen Harrier young. Once again the main problem of Raptor persecution is not being addressed or taken seriously, this alone makes a brood management scheme a complete non starter.

  • Kevin moore

    Point no 1 Monitoring of hen harriers already takes place so nothing new there.
    Point no 2 Diversionary feeding on grouse moors, it won’t make any difference to keepers they will still kill harriers .
    Point 3 Analyse monitoring data and build intelligence picture = bullshit talking whilst more harriers are killed.
    Point 4 Nest and winter site protection, how do they propose to do this ? Who is going to do this? And why have they not been doing it anyway ?
    Point 5 Reintroduce harriers to southern England , the harriers will probably come straight back to their homes on northern grouse moors, and why should this have to happen just to please the shooting industry in the first place?
    Point 6 Raptor study groups have already told defra and Natural England it’s a waste of time. Isn’t it like placing the cart before the horse?

    Point 7 I suggest DEFRA, Natural England and the RSPB grow a backbones and confront the illegalities within the shooting industry head on instead of weasel words and complicity about action plans that will never work. Appeasing the shooting industry is doomed to failure just like the failure of Neville Chamberlain against Adolf Hitler and his nazis.

  • Tim Sarney

    All they need to do is to make the landowners responsible for illegal raptor persecution on their land. If a tagged HH / HH male supporting a nesting female goes missing then the landowner should be prosecuted where the HH was last recorded and / or the nest is. The relevant estate should then be banned from grouse shooting activities for a significant period – as has happened recently in Scotland I believe. If the HH died of natural causes the liability to provide the proof should be on the landowner – present the bird for analysis. This why grouse moors should be licensed. Same applies to Peregrines and SEOs.