Hen Harrier Day 2015

by BAWC category: Environment

“We're missing our Hen Harriers - and we want them back! http://thndr.it/1LWmRoE

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2,660 of 500
532% of goal supported
Social Reach
Time Left
Ends Aug 09, 10:00 AM BST


This campaign ended on August 09 at 10AM

Hen Harrier Day 2015

Just a few hundred years ago the Hen Harrier was a common and widespread bird of prey. Massive changes in land use meant they lost many lowland breeding sites, and they retreated to breed on upland moorland. Relentless  persecution by gamekeepers employed on shooting estates followed. That persecution is continuing now. In modern-day Britain our birds of prey are still being killed - only now it's illegal and a wildlife crime.

Hen Harriers have the highest level of legal protection available across the UK and the EU, but illegal persecution is having a severe impact on their numbers. They have declined markedly in recent years. Peer-reviewed research suggests that good habitat remains for them, but that there are around 1000 breeding pairs of Hen Harrier ‘missing’ from Scotland and around 300 pairs ‘missing’ from England.

We want them back!

So what's the problem? Hen Harriers do try to nest on England's upland moors, but time and time again they aren't successful. In 2013 – for the first time since records began – no Hen Harriers fledged anywhere in England. In 2014 just a handful of Hen Harriers bred: all required 24 hour protection, and within weeks of fledging several of the radio-tagged young went 'missing' and were never seen again. This year (2015) despite 24 hour protection five male Hen Harriers hunting away from monitored, active nests 'disappeared' - all within a few weeks of each other. The nests failed.

While Hen Harriers do of course die from natural causes, healthy adults and healthy young are simply disappearing in the vicinity of grouse moors far more often than can be explained by predation or disease. 

On the 9th of August – the weekend before the start of the ‘Inglorious 12th’ – we intend to again highlight the scandal of the widespread illegal persecution of Hen Harriers on upland grouse moors and celebrate one of our most iconic birds of prey.

Please, add your support by joining our Thunderclap now.

  • 5 MILLION +

    August 5, 2015
    It's hard for us to adequately thank everyone who has helped push our Thunderclap past a social reach of 5 million - but huge thanks.

    We've far surpassed what we thought might be achieved this year - and when we dream we reach for the stars so we had high hopes! - and it's pushing us on to prove to the wildlife criminals and the apologists for wildlife crime out there that we will never give in or give up.

    One thing that has occurred to us, though, is that such a high figure might dissuade others from joining. especially if you don't have the enormous number of followers that some people who've joined up have. Please, don't be put off. This isn't a contest. YOU are as important as anyone else. YOUR voice counts just as much as anyone else's. If YOU want to speak out against wildlife crime and in support of our missing Hen Harriers, then please do so. We're all in this together, we all want the same thing, and together we will get it.

    Thanks again!
  • 4 MILLION and counting

    August 2, 2015
    On August 9th a Thunderclap will go out that says that we care about the persecution of one of our most beautiful birds of prey by a handful of people working on our uplands. It will say that we want that persecution to stop. That there are no excuses, no 'reasons' to kill protected wildlife, nothing that mitigates the continued slaughter of our raptors. It will say that we will not tolerate a 'business as usual', 'wink and a nod', 'turn a blind eye' approach to the killing of Hen Harriers. It will say that things must change, and must change now.

    And thanks to you that message will be delivered to over 4 MILLION people.

    The wildlife criminals may still be hoping that we'll simply disappear (maybe into the same rabbit holes that Hen Harriers 'disappear' down?), but we're not going away. We are here to stay - and will remain until the illegal, unlawful, and inexcusable killing of birds of prey stops...
  • 3.5MILLION Social Reach!

    July 28, 2015
    For any wildlife criminal hoping that the issue of illegal persecution of Hen Harriers would simply fizzle out after last year's first Hen Harrier Day - time to think again! On August 9th over 3.5 MILLION people will be getting messages in their Twitter feeds about our 'missing' Hen Harriers - and we've still got 12 days to go to promote our Thunderclap to even more people.

    There are Hen Harrier Day events planned for all over the country, there are petitions, there are articles in the major media - wildlife crime on grouse moors is a hot topic right now, and we intend to keep it that way.

    Our message to the criminals is simple: if you want the issue of illegal persecution to go away, stop illegally killing birds of prey.
  • We've passed 2 MILLION social reach

    July 19, 2015
    Remarkable! With almost three weeks still to go we've just passed a social reach of 2 MILLION - that means if no-one else supported our Thunderclap from this point on (which seems unlikely given how much we all care about Hen Harriers and wildlife crime) over 2 million people would receive our message on August 9th. That's just amazing. Yes, some of those 2 million will already know about the problems these beautiful birds face on our uplands, but many, many more won't: with your fantastic help they soon will!
    BAWC will of course do what we can to increase that reach - and so will our supporters! We're extremely grateful for all the tweets and RTs that we're seeing every day. You, us, we are all making a difference - and in the days leading up to Hen Harrier Day on the 9th we will drive the point home even harder: it is not acceptable to illegally persecute protected birds of prey. Our Hen Harriers are missing and we want them back!
  • Thanks so much

    July 16, 2015
    The stats say it all - despite what some elements of the driven grouse industry would hope, we do care about Hen Harriers and we do want to see an end to their illegal persecution. We still have three weeks of this campaign and BAWC will do all we can to reach out to as many people as possible. We want to do better than last year - that means we still need a lot more supporters and another million 'combined social reach'. We're determined to do it though - the world needs to know about our 'missing' harriers and between us all - BAWC, you, nature organisations, and the media - we WILL get that message out there. Thanks for your support - it means a massive amount to us. More importantly it will translate into meaning a massive amount to our Hen Harriers. Thanks.


Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) is an independent, volunteer-led, campaign group set up in 2014 by a group of experienced birders and conservationists who just like you are sick of the number of crimes being committed against wildlife. Our aim is to fight back, by making the processes of Recognising, Recording, and Reporting wildlife crime as easy as possible, by putting ‘eyes in the field’, and by highlighting just how much wildlife crime is taking place.

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