Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

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So so sorry to read this , awful news , one day I do hope justice will be done and these birds can grace our skies in peace

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

Posted on - In Sky Dancer
It is incredibly important that then RSPB releases such information. Clearly the police can do little with the information that the missing tag and bird provides. In Scotland, the first signs are appearing that those persons who are responsible are both reducing their actions (after perhaps being told)  and being more careful. For this the Scottish government, the RSPB, and others are to be congratulated. The rest of the UK has to wait.

Comment on Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

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My message to the police last month and now another one in same area!!!! According to information released by Natural England (NE) recently: www.gov.uk/.../hen-harrier-annual-tracking-update On 18th August 2010 Hen Harrier id94591 's satellite tag stopped working. 3 days later on 21st August 2010 Hen Harrier id58870's satellite tag also stopped transmitting. Both of these failures were very close together (within 7km) in Bowland an infamous raptor persecution hot spot. id94591 's last known location was Bowland SD596621 which is 1km outside the last known transmission of Hope and 3km away from the centre of the overlap in last transmission of Hope and Sky. id58870's last known transmission was 2km outside the last known transmission of Sky and about 3.5km from centre of overlap of last known transmissions of Sky and Hope. ww2.rspb.org.uk/.../sky-and-hope-a-plea-for-information.aspx All FOUR birds stopped transmitting under suspicious circumstance all within a 7km radius and both times within 3 days of another bird. By failing to report the suspicious circumstances in 2010 NE have failed to give information to the police and the RSPB and the public which could have resulted in a prosecution. Not only that but NE have also withheld evidence that could have helped investigate the crime that occurred 4 years later in almost identical circumstances. At the very least making this suspected crime public in 2010 would have been a very strong deterrent against the criminals and could very well have stopped the killings of Sky and Hope in 2014. I have no doubt at all that Sky, Hope, id94591 and id58870 were all killed by the same individual or group of individuals and NE, by failing to act, have contributed to the deaths of Sky and Hope and hindered the investigation into their fatal persecution.

Blog Post: Thor is no more: First hatched hen harrier in Bowland for three years disappears in suspicious circumstances

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This summer we were overjoyed to have hen harriers nesting in Bowland for the first time since 2015. Our project team worked round the clock to monitor the three nests there, and the parent birds fledged an amazing 13 chicks between them. Young hen harriers were fitted with tags as part of the RSPB’s EU-funded Hen Harrier LIFE project and we watched with anticipation as the chicks grew and started to fly away from their nests and make their way into the world. Unfortunately, it was unlucky 13 for one of our brood. Young male hen harrier Thor fledged from a nest of four chicks in the Forest of Bowland and his satellite tag was fitted in mid-June. After leaving the nest he remained in the vicinity for several months. His tag was transmitting regularly when it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. His last known fix on 3 October 2018 showed he was over Goodber Common near Salter in Lancashire, adjacent to a managed driven grouse moor. This disappearance was reported to the police, and a search revealed no sign of the bird or his tag. Thor is the fourth bird to disappear in the past two months, following the disappearances of Hilma, Octavia and Heulwen in August this year. Alarmingly, the last known fix for Thor is directly between the sites where tagged hen harriers Hope and Sky were last heard from before they disappeared back in 2014.   Thor as a youngster (photo: Steve Downing) James Bray, RSPB’s Bowland Project Officer, was involved in monitoring the nests in Bowland over the summer, and watched as Thor hatched, grew and fledged from his nest. He says: “Whilst we know that hen harrier mortality rates are high for young birds - with a survival rate of around 22% within the first two years - if Thor had died naturally we would have expected to find some sign of him or his tag. His tag was functioning well before he disappeared, which sadly suggests there has been some kind of interference with it.” If anyone has any information as to what may have become of Thor, you can contact Lancashire Police on 101.

Blog Post: Hen harrier class of 2018

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Dr. Cathleen Thomas, Hen Harrier LIFE Project Manager, introduces the new cohort of tagged hen harriers for 2018. We were overjoyed this summer when we tagged an unprecedented amount of hen harrier chicks across the UK. The team hiked over bogs, moorland and mountains, often during heat wave conditions, to locate the nests and used their specialist expertise to fit lightweight tags to each feathery bundle. After the success of this year’s breeding season, it’s with mixed feeling that I’m introducing you to the class of 2018. You will have seen from our last blog post that we’ve already lost three of our 2018 tagged hen harriers in suspicious circumstances. We hope that the rest of this year’s cohort manage to survive a little longer. Hen harriers are one of the UK’s most persecuted birds of prey, and the breeding population in England is dangerously low with just nine successful nests this summer despite habitat for over 300 pairs. Fitting tags helps us learn more about the risks they face. We’re now crossing our fingers as we watch these young birds go out into the world. For now, we’d like to introduce you to twelve of them. This year we incorporated a couple of themes into the naming process. Some have been named after gods and goddesses, others pay homage to notable people, while some celebrate their national language and landscape. 1. Thoth Thoth is a male chick tagged in the Scottish borders in 2018, named after the Egyptian god with the head of an ibis. His tag was sponsored by Scottish Borders Council to learn more about hen harrier movements in the Scottish borders. Thoth the male hen harrier (photo credit: Jack Ashton Booth) 2. Vulcan Vulcan is a male chick tagged in Northumberland, and came from a nest of five chicks. His father is colour ringed and is from Langholme. He’s a favourite of our project team member Jack , and named after the Roman god of fire. Vulcan the hen harrier (photo credit: Jack Ashton Booth) 3. Rain Rain was tagged at Bowland, and came from a nest of five chicks. She’s one of the first hen harriers chicks to be successfully raised in Bowland since 2015. Rain (photo credit: Steve Downing) 4. Nyx Nyx was tagged at Bowland from a nest of five chicks and is one of the 13 birds to successfully fledge at Bowland this year. He is named after Nyx, the shape-shifting water spirit.   Nyx (photo credit: Steve Downing) 5. Thor One of a brood four, and the first of our chicks to be tagged this year. Thor was named after the famous god of thunder and was tagged on a nest at Bowland in collaboration with United Utilities estates. Thor (photo credit: Steve Downing) 6. Doona Doona is a female chick tagged on Isle of Man, named by Dhoon School. Her name means ‘dark maiden’ and she was tagged in collaboration with Manx Birdlife. Doona (photo credit: Steve Downing) 7. Arthur Arthur is a male chick tagged at the National Trust’s High Peak Moors. He is named after Arthur Hobhouse, who set out the philosophy behind our system of National Parks of England and Wales. Hobhouse argued that everyone should have access to fresh air and beautiful places. 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Arthur will be monitored in collaboration with raptor workers and the National Trust. Arthur (photo credit: Paul Thomas) 8. Keen Keen is a female bird tagged in Perthshire from a nest of three chicks. She is the third bird to be tagged in an area of woodland managed sustainably by the community for the benefit of everyone, after DeeCee in 2016 and Heather in 2017. Keen (photo credit: Brian Etheridge) 9. Marci Marci is a female chick and the third bird to be tagged at Mar Lodge, one of several chicks born there in 2018. Harriet and Calluna were also tagged there in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Marcie (photo credit: Shaila Rao) 10.Hilma - missing Hilma was a female chick tagged at a nest on Forestry Commission Scotland-owned land in the Scottish Borders, and a sister to Thoth. Her tag was sponsored by the Scottish Borders Council to learn more about the movements of hen harriers in the borders. However, Hilma didn't travel very far. After she left her nest, she moved south into Northumberland. Her tag was transmitting regularly when it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. Her last known fix on 8 August showed she was near Wooler, Northumberland over land managed for driven grouse shooting. Hilma is the second tagged hen harrier to disappear in Northumberland in the past year, after we reported on the disappearance of  Manu  in October 2017, closely followed by his brother  Marc  in Cumbria in February 2018. Hilma (photo credit: Steve Downing)   11. Heulwen - missing Heulwen was a female chick tagged in Gwynedd in North Wales. Her name was chosen because it means ‘sunny’ in Welsh. After she left her nest, Heulwen travelled through north Wales, across Snowdonia and eastwards towards Wrexham. Her satellite tag was transmitting regularly untili it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. Her last known fix on 29 August shows she was in the vicinity of Ruabon Mountain. Heulwen was not far from where Aalin , one of our 2016  tagged bird cohort, went missing on 9 February 2018. Heulwen (photo credit: Guy Anderson) 12. Octavia - missing   Octavia is a female chick tagged at the National Trust’s High Peak Moors from the first successful nest in the Peak District since 2014. She was named after Octavia Hill, one of the three founders of the National Trust. On the 22 August she moved onto privately-owned driven grouse moors near Sheffield. Her tag was transmitting regularly when it suddenly and inexplicably stopped. Her last known fix on 26 August showed she was over an area of land managed for driven grouse shooting at Broomhead. Octavia (photo credit: Steve Downing) Jenny Shelton from our Investigations team explains more in this video: (Please visit the site to view this video) If you're having trouble viewing the video on our blog page, you can go directly to youtube: https://youtu.be/x-mqn3tEPhU      

Comment on Three more hen harriers disappear suddenly

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Prasad et al, even if the suspicious circumstances were reported to the police, NE have some small measures (unlike in Scotland) which they can take without a successful persecution. Even better, the estate against whom the measures were taken, could appeal and let the public find out what is going on. If they did take measures against the estate/s where the incidents happened, it is clear due to the locations revealed, that the measures did not work as the same places  seem to be repeated. Of course, NE could have given greater details as incidents occurred over the years, which might have had an effect. Ah, sorry, I forgot.

Comment on Three more hen harriers disappear suddenly

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I have an update on my comments. NE has replied and say 'In all cases, in England and the IoM, when one of Natural England’s satellite tagged Hen Harriers stops transmitting the Police are notified straight away and a thorough search of the area is made' That is very interesting but opens up new questions about what the police have done, I also wrote to them but if it ongoing i doubt i will get a reply. In other words another black hole of infornation Strange that the NE Hen Harrier satellite tagged data-sheet mentinons nothing suspicious about birds failing. Why? They write 'Missing Fate Unknown includes:    (i) radio-tagged birds that left the study area. The vast majority of Missing Fate Unknown's are radio-tagged birds, this is not surprising given the mobility of Hen Harriers and our relatively small study area.    (ii) radio-tagged and satellite tagged birds that were recorded after the battery ran out or transmissions had stopped.    (iii) satellite tagged bird that died in such a position as to render the transmitter hard to locate and recover. The satellite transmitters depend on light to recharge, and operate on a 10hr on 48 hr off duty cycle. Therefore,     when a bird dies there is only a small chance that it would happen whilst the transmitter is transmitting with     enough charge to enable transmission of coordinates and a signal to enable retrieval. If the bird dies in the off     cycle of the transmitter then it could have travelled many kms to its final resting place from the last transmitted     coordinates. If this final resting place is in long vegetation, and/or the bird is lying on its back with little or no light available the solar panel it will never transmit again and the bird would fall into the Missing Fate Unknown  category. '