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July 2014

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Hen Harrier Day: Sunday August 10th 2014

Hen Harrier Day: Sunday August 10th 2014

Hen Harrier Day is organised and co-ordinated by a coalition of Birders Against Wildlife Crime, former RSPB Conservation Director and leading activist Mark Avery, broadcaster and conservationist Chris Packham, the RSPB, and the North West Raptor Protection Group.

Hen Harrier Day has attracted support from a wide selection of organisations and activists, including the Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust, the Hawk and Owl Trust, the League Against Cruel Sports, the Peak District National Park, South West Peregrine Group, Birdwatch magazine, Rare Bird Alert, Bird Information, Birdguides, Welsh Ornithological Society and Quaker Concern for Animals.

Just a few hundred years ago the Hen Harrier was a common and widespread bird of prey. Massive changes in land use meant they lost many lowland breeding sites, and they retreated to breed on upland moorland. Relentless persecution by gamekeepers employed on shooting estates followed. Numbers have declined markedly in recent years as intensification of grouse moors has stepped up. Peer-reviewed research suggests that good habitat remains, but there are 962-1285 breeding pairs of Hen Harrier 'missing' from Scotland and 322 - 339 pairs 'missing' from England.

On the 10th of August - when the media's attention is turning towards grouse moors and the start of the shooting season - the campaign will highlight the scandal of the widespread illegal persecution of Hen Harriers on upland grouse moors and celebrate one of our most iconic birds of prey.

For BAWC, Hen Harrier Day is primarily about raising awareness of wildlife crime - the persecution of a protected bird of prey. They feel that to move on from the current situation, there has to be an admittance from the shooting industry that illegal persecution has been widespread and is a limiting factor on Hen Harrier populations, and there needs to be a commitment from the industry to ensure that all legislation protecting our wildlife is rigorously enforced and that lawbreakers are reported to the proper authorities immediately.

For more details of the campaign and how you can join in go to: