Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Eight steps to assist Hen Harrier conservation.

With the UK Hen Harrier population being much depressed, there is a case for decisive action to be taken to improve matters. Past evidence and research has demonstrated that persecution has played a crucial part in the recent reduction in numbers and there is a clear indication of the involvement of some upland shoots in this.

This piece is not a reiteration of these details, but a plea for help and a brief explanation of what YOU can do to help!  Please consider contributing in any way you can.

In addition to action taken in court for reported cases of persecution, I feel there is a clear cut need for the regulation of all upland grouse shoots and gamekeepers, allowing them to operate via a licencing system, the benefits of which would be withdrawn in the event of any offences being proven.

To pursue this I set up an E-petition in late February, 2013 ( it closes on 27.2.2014 ) which, in the three months following its inception, has attracted almost 5000 signatures of support.  Clearly this body of very welcome support needs extending further in order to provide a realistic indication of the feelings of those who so often in the past have raised concerns and expressed condemnation against the effects of persecution.

Here is the reference of the E-petition if you wish to replicate it within E-mails or other statements.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/46473      Licencing of upland grouse moors and gamekeepers.

Additionally it can be reached directly through this link        E-petition

Here are eight additional steps that anyone can take to assist further.

1. Sign the petition!
2.Draw the petition to the attention of friends, colleagues and fellow "birders" and ask them to  
   consider providing their support.  Copy out this Blog entry as necessary.
3.Circulate details to all entries within your computer Address Book.
4.Similarly, circulate details to all your Facebook contacts.
5.Tweet out details and a call for support.
6.Tweet out again each month until February, 2014!!
7. Raise the matter at a meeting of your local bird group or natural history society.
8.Write to your MP and raise the issue.

From time to time I put out details about Hen Harriers on my Blog ( www.birdingodyssey.blogspot.com )
and would ask that you circulate this reference generally so people can keep up to date. Additionally, if anyone feels they would like information about making contact with their MP, then please feel free to contact me via the Blog as I shall be pleased to help.

This is a problem we must continue to address in order to reach a lasting and sensible solution. I don't believe a licencing system would impinge on any enterprise or individual operating legitimately; the objective is to regulate through the potential of penalties limiting operation upon those who insist on pursuing actions outside the law.

At the present time I know of no active Hen Harrier nests in England. Last year there was one!  The traditional stronghold of the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire has had none for the past two years and, if we haven't already reached the point, we are very close to seeing the the species being extinct as a breeding bird in England.

This is an absolute travesty and something upon which we need to ACT. The steps above provide a route to that opportunity.
PLEASE HELP .