While the news sinks in that yet another two young hen harriers have ‘disappeared’ in suspicious circumstances on driven grouse moors (see here), making a total of at least 33 that have either vanished or been found illegally killed in the two years since the grouse shooting industry would have us believe it has cleaned up its act (see here), writer Jim Crumley reminds us that this industry has wiped out hen harriers before and it can / will do it again unless the authorities get a grip.
[Hen harrier photo by Laurie Campbell]
Published in The Scots Magazine, under the heading ‘Hypnotic Hen Harriers’, Crumley writes:
‘There are certain places in Scotland that have a track record for making birds of prey disappear, up to and including eagles – almost always in parts of the country obsessed with grouse shooting.
They protest every time some wildlife organisation or other goes public about the demise of one more harrier. They’ll tell you that when satellite tags suddenly stop working, it could be because the tag failed – they hardly ever do – and there’s no proof the bird has been illegally killed. That is often true as it’s rare that the corpse is ever found – they have become adept at disposing of dead harriers and eagles.
But in the case of the hen harrier, the weight of circumstantial evidence is huge and it’s also historic. Making hen harriers disappear is nothing new‘.
Read his article in full here