Information of Hen Harriers dead or missing fitted with Satellite Tags obtained under the Freedom of Information

Annie one of 30 tagged Hen Harriers reported as confirmed dead or missing between 2007-2015.
The information below, regarding dead or missing Hen Harriers fitted with Satellite Tags between 2007 – 2014, was provided by Natural England to Terry Pickford in reply to his Freedom of Information Request. Summing up Natural Englands response, of the 27 Hen Harriers tagged between 2007 and 2014, 25 are now known to be either dead or missing. In 2015, Natural England fitted five satellite tags to hen harriers in northern England. All five of these transmitters/birds are now missing.

Whichever way we view these statistics they make for terrible reading. This is compelling evidence why we should support Mark Avery’s petition to ban all Driven Grouse Shooting.
Please everyone retweet this appalling detail.
Friday 5th August 2016
Dear Mr Pickford,
Access to information request – Request No RFI 3501
Thank you for your request for the information detailed below which we received on 13 July 2016.
Your request has been considered under the Environmental
Information Regulations (EIRs) 2004.
Please find our response to each of your questions below.
1. Can you please clarify how many Hen Harriers at nests in England have been fitted with a satellite tag in 2015 and 2016? Can you please confirm how many of those birds fitted with a tag are still
known to be alive? If this is not possible how many of these birds are now confirmed missing?
In 2015, Natural England fitted five satellite tags to hen harriers in northern England. All five of these
transmitters/birds are now missing.
In 2016, Natural England and the RSPB will be putting satellite tags on a complement of the year’s broods.This is ongoing work therefore and we do not yet hold this information. We are therefore applying exception 12(4)(a) – Information Not Held – under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. This exception is applied when the public body does not hold the information requested.
2. Can you also please confirm if the figures for satellite tagged Hen Harrier Natural England have already released for Harriers tagged in England between 2007 and 2014 are correct, with 27 tagged
birds and 24 missing? If these figures have now been updated can you please supply the updated figures please?
Female Annie ID 58946 was recovered by RSPB in southern Scotland in April 2015 after Natural England alerted them to the bird’s death and her approximate location. Therefore, to update the figures you have given above it is now 25 “missing”, even though, Annie and some of the other tracked birds are known to
be dead rather than “missing”.
3. With regards to the above are you now able to provide any information of the locations where any of the tagged Hen Harriers went missing, or where their tags stopped transmitting?
We have provided locations at a 10km by 10km level where this level of detail does not compromise sensitive sites. For other birds, even though the last contact was not at a specific nest or roost site,
sensitive nest or roost sites in the same 10km by 10km square may have been compromised, and so the location has been given at the county level. These location details were released as part of our press statement dated 28 October 2014. This can be accessed via the following link:
Please note that the information we have supplied to you is subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of
charge in any format or medium, for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes, private study, criticism, review and news reporting. You must re-use it accurately and not in a misleading context.
The material must be acknowledged as Natural England copyright and you must give the title of the source document/publication. However, if you wish to re-use all or part of this information for commercial purposes, including publishing and the information is not covered by the Open Government Licence you will need to
apply for a licence. Applications can be sent to Enquiry Service, Natural England, Block B, Government
Buildings, Whittington Road, WORCESTER, WR5 2LQ.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. As you may be aware, under the legislation
should you have any concerns with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision, please email me at [Natural England request email] and I will arrange for a review to take place.
If you are not content with the outcome of that complaint, or the review of our decision, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by Natural England.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Telephone: 01625 545 700,
Yours sincerely
Sarah Waterfield

2 comments to Information of Hen Harriers dead or missing fitted with Satellite Tags obtained under the Freedom of Information

  • Circus maxima

    What the heck is a “sensitive site”? Especially one that is so sensitive that you have to hide it within 100km2?
    It really makes no sense to hide the detail, it could easily be released under a licence restriction.
    If they are not going to release the grid ref…. would they describe the habitat type at each “end of signal”?

  • Albert Ross

    I agree. What on earth can be so sensitive about a site where a tag ceased transmitting as to render the location unavailable to tax payers who funded it?
    I think we need to know more about these so called sensitive sites and why they are classed as sensitive.
    Please continue the pressure for more information.

    Editor’s Comment. In reply to you both, a sensitive area in this context, is a grouse moor owned by a person with money, power and influence.