Birds of prey have been disappearing from our skies over the last few decades. The hen harrier is a stark example of this, the population of which has declined by 27% since 2004.
Sadly, this decline has been linked to human activity, specifically illegal killing in areas associated with grouse moor management. Indeed, a 2019 Natural England study found that the likelihood of hen harriers dying, or disappearing, was ten times higher within areas predominantly covered by grouse moor, compared to areas with no grouse moor.
It is clear that the Government needs to tighten the regulation of grouse moor management and crackdown on the illegal killing of hen harriers and other birds of prey, otherwise these birds will eventually disappear from our skies.
The naturalist, Chris Packham, has been campaigning to save hen harriers and you can sign the Wild Justice petition on hen harriers here: https://wildjustice.eaction.org.uk/saveourskydancers
I have written to Lord Gardiner of Kimble, the Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, and asked him to take action to support the long-term viability of the UK’s birds of prey. I have posted a copy of this letter below.
I will continue to support the improvement of animal welfare whenever possible.