‘The grouse moor industry accounted for the mainland extinction of hen harriers once before’

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

4 thoughts on “‘The grouse moor industry accounted for the mainland extinction of hen harriers once before’”

  1. Beautiful article written by Jim, he says it all in a delightful way which we who love the outdoors can understand and appreciate.

  2. Like many folk that read this blog I did know that the folk who run DGS in the UK had once eliminated Hen Harrier from our mainland and many of them would allegedly like to again, one retired Nidderdale gamekeeper once had a letter published in the Yorkshire Post a year or two ago in which he said all those predators that our Victorian forebears eliminated should stay eliminated. Myself, I’d like to see the job of Grouse keeper eliminated by a UK wide ban on DGS.
    As to Jim’s article it’s wonderful and elicits the way I feel when I see a harrier but then I love his writing and have a number of his books, he’s one of the best and Laurie Campbells phots are rarely bettered either.
    The folk who kill these birds must be soulless.

  3. Well worth reading the article, as it explains in such an erudite way, with the evidence so carefully crafted into the writing, why the it should be the gamekeepers and shooters who should be “driven” from the grouse moors!!

  4. Like Paul i knew about the extermination and the wars recovery before but Jim’s article made me think about how quickly they recovered in such a short period of time.
    Which shows two things. How much killing is still going on to keep the numbers falling and how pathetic and perverse the re-introduction and legalised brood persecution schemes are.
    Left alone they would re-colonise the whole of the UK in a decade or so.
    These two points lead to one conclusion, those who support the two schemes are actually, intentionally or not, supporting the continuation of the killing.

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