Like many people, I suspect, I have been waiting for months for another case of raptor persecution to occur in the Cairngorms National Park. For under the current grouse moor management regimes that dominate much of the National Park, its not a case of “if” but “when” another raptor will disappear. While its taken longer than I expected, last week the RSPB announced a young hen harrier, which had been satellite tagged on the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge Estate, had disappeared just north of Ballater. As Raptor Persecution Scotland reported (see here) its almost certain this was on either the Invercauld estate, held by a Trust on behalf of the Farquharson family or Dinnet estate, owned by former Cairngorms National Park Authority Board Member Marcus Humphrey. Their article documents known cases of raptor persecution in the area.
The Cairngorms National Park Authority issued this news release in response to the incident:
Statement: Hen harrier disappearance
1st September 2017
From Grant Moir CEO, Cairngorms National Park Authority
“A hen harrier has once again disappeared in the Cairngorms National Park, with a satellite tracker ceasing to transmit. The Park Authority is determined to stop these recurring disappearances.
“Earlier this week the CNPA met with Police Scotland to discuss how increased use of special constables can help to tackle wildlife crime in the Cairngorms National Park. We also continue to work on other solutions to these issues.
“The CNPA look forward to the establishment by Scottish Government of the independently-led group to look at the environmental impact of grouse moor management and will feed in to that review.”