The North Wales Police Rural Crime Team has posted the following statement on Twitter this morning:
There isn’t much detail to go on but presumably this harrier’s tag has suddenly and inexplicably stopped in highly suspicious circumstances, just like the 79% of other tags fitted to hen harriers between 2007-2017 (and remember this is 79% of tags fitted by Natural England – it does not include any tags fitted by the RSPB – we’re expecting that analysis sometime next year).
What’s interesting though, is the location from where this hen harrier’s satellite tag last tranmsitted: the “Llandegla area”. This is very close to the location where another satellite-tagged hen harrier (Aalin) ‘disappeared’ in suspicious circumstances in February this year near the Ruabon grouse moor (see earlier blog on Aalin’s disappearance here).
Hopefully more details about this latest hen harrier’s “possible disappearance” will be published soon.
UPDATE 13 September 2018: 3 more satellite-tagged hen harriers disappear – all on grouse moors (here)