# Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Hen harriers could soon be wiped out in England if measures are not put into place to save them. The birds which had enjoyed something of a boost of numbers are now close to being wiped out due to illegal persecution. There is only only one pair known to be nesting this year according to the RSPB. Hen harriers are not hugely popular in areas used for grouse shooting as they tend to eat the grouse. It is this that leads to them being illegally poisoned and makes saving the species somewhat more challenging. If only one pair of the birds nests in England this year it will be the  worst breeding season since the 1960s. The RSPB believes the way forward is to try and make grouse shoots viable without resorting to killing birds of prey. A measure such as diversionary feeding in which alternative food is provided for the hen harriers is one tactic that could be used. I wonder whether there should also be greater sentences for those are found to be targeting endangered species.