Another satellite-tagged hen harrier goes missing – Northumbria Police appeal for info

A fourth young hen harrier has vanished in suspicious circumstances this year.

The first three disappeared in September from moors in County Durham (here) and the Yorkshire Dales National Park (here and here).

The latest one to go, ‘Rosie’ is not believed to be part of Natural England’s outrageous brood meddling trial, but is believed to have hatched at a protected nest site in Northumberland earlier this summer and tagged by Natural England staff.

[Photo from Northumbria Police]

Here is the appeal for information issued by Northumbria Police this afternoon:

Unfortunately it does not say when this hen harrier disappeared nor does it give any more specific location than ‘near Whittingham’. (Come on Northumbria Police, this is basic information).

Whittingham is a village and parish just outside the Northumberland National Park, as outlined on these two Google maps:

UPDATE 20 October 2019: 

Sup Nick Lyall has tweeted this evening to say Rosie is alive and well. No further information has been provided.

UPDATE 21 October 2019: Missing hen harrier Rosie reported to be alive and well (here)

UPDATE 27 October 2019: Re-discovery of hen harrier Rosie not quite as it’s being portrayed (here)

17 thoughts on “Another satellite-tagged hen harrier goes missing – Northumbria Police appeal for info”

  1. Time for a complete ban on shooting. It is outdated, a disaster to the environment and unaffordable to those of us who subsidise it.
    Plant the grouse moors with mixed native broadleaf trees, look to repopulating the areas which were cleared of humans, retrain gamekeepers as rangers and for any favour, disarm them. Enough is enough.

    1. Whilst I would agree with you about banning driven grouse shooting and the release of alien game birds, both of which I have opposed for a long time, I cannot agree about the rest. Upland blanket bog is not a place to plant trees there are many species of wildlife that depend on the open habitat and planting trees everywhere is NOT the answer to anything better to let nature take its course and for trees and scrub recolonise naturally where it wants. We need natural habitats for wildlife not human made poor approximations.
      Another Harrier down and no end to it in sight, time governments and their agencies in both England and Scotland got very tough with DGS but I’ll unfortunately not be holding my breath.

      1. Hi Ruth
        I know at times you must feel very demoralised
        but what you are doing is so important and I applaud you.
        Your hard work and knowledge is much appreciated by many people and we will end this persecution by banning driven grouse

      2. Enough is understood about landform and climate to be able to ascertain the climax ecosystem for a given piece of terrain. So while I agree that planting trees willy-nilly would be idiotic, there is no-doubt that a more thoughtful re-wilding would be the order-of-the-day when the time comes.

    2. Let gamekeepers be Rangers that’s the last group I would give a job to, give the work to real people who love our flora and fauna. Wouldn’t give the gamekeepers the time of day good riddance I say to the lot of them.

      1. Too right., they only know how to conserve Red grouse , and that comes at the expense of much of the other wildlife on the grouse moors. It’s a really sad situation, one that absolutely needs addressing by a new government who has the environment in mind – out with the Tories I say!
        Just wish we could satellite tag every gamekeeper out there.

  2. Comments regarding keepers agreed. Wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire!

    Time to give the current ban-DGS petition another whirl. See: Surely we can manage more than 111,000 odd signatures!

    The combination of the petition and the current onslaught on young harriers means that there’s no time like the present to really stir things up. I’m sure that the fact that these are NE-tagged birds (three brood-meddled and one other) which are disappearing on his watch won’t be lost on TJ. What a poisoned chalice he inherited with this shambles.

  3. There are, or presumably have been gamekeepers that have left and become true wildlife conservators, or ‘lovers’ I’m sure that these are presumably few in number and have become so through their own natural progression and moral fibre, not through a lack of working opportunities. The GKs who persecute our wildlife, I would suggest, dont do so with a heavy heart, or wiping a tear at each death, injury or torture. They are told to, either directly or indirectly, and its a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude. [Ed: last sentence removed as it refers to a live investigation]

  4. Your comments are all of a mind and I absolutely agree, it was wrong of me to go with the mindset whereby lobbing trees willy nilly at the countryside or retraining gamekeepers.
    The truth is that I am beyond giving a single care about gamekeepers, factors and certain landowners and would not be sorry to see them all rounded up and put on Rockall alongside their best friend Fergus Ewing.

    I doubt you could ever change the warped mindset of killing for pleasure but we can push to have shooting banned. ScotGov really need to become proactive on Land Reform, proper conservation (not the self identifying fake conservation of shooting estates), and a proper plan which truly protects Scottish raptors and all other wildlife who are killed in order that the few can shoot grouse/ pheasant.

  5. Don’t agree that all gamekeepers are worth giving up on.
    There has been at least one ex-keeper contributing positively to these comments. They aren’t going to kill if they aren’t getting paid for it. Elsewhere in the world poachers have been recruited as rangers, to good effect as far as i can tell.
    Gamekeepers bosses are another matter, as are their apologists and spin doctors, the cover-up merchants.

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