Breeding success of Hen harrier on a grouse moor in the Peak District National Park

March 8, 2017
March 8, 2017 FACE

Hen harrier breeding success is rare in England. There is wildlife conflict between hen harriers and red grouse because harriers nest colonialy and feed their chicks on red grouse.

The aim of the project was to ensure a pair of hen harriers nesting on the High Peak Estate successfully fledged their young. The Grouse shooting tenant (the hunter) had regenerated the moorland back to heather and dwarf shrub from an overgrazed landscape devoid of the typical moorland suit of birds that is correlated with grouse moor management elsewhere.

By providing the habitat and indeed an abundance of wildlife through legal predator control by gamekeepers, the harrier chose to nest there. The same hunter then reported the discovery of the nest and remained a key partner in the nest protection procedure including being present when the chicks were ringed.

Grouse moor gamekeepers and their employees in the whole of the Peak District were alerted to the successful nesting and hatching of five chicks and asked to ensure no action by them could lead to the nest failing in anyway.

Country: United Kingdom
South Yorkshire
Starting date:
Species: Hen Harrier (Circus Cyaneus), Red Grouse (Lagopus Lagopus Scotica)
Species characteristics: Huntable species, Protected species, Threatened species
Type of actions: Management of habitats and wildlife, Research and data collection, Communication, Policy work, Enforcement
Leading partners: National TrustMoorland AssociationPeak District Bird of Prey InitiativeNorthern England Raptor ForumNatural England

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