Blog Post: Our response to Natural England’s publication of raw data of tagged hen harriers

On the 25 August Natural England published the raw data from tagging 158 tracked individual hen harriers. Publication of this data is something which the RSPB has previously called for. It’s good to see that the data will be finally used as the basis for a scientific and peer-reviewed paper “ The dead tell no tales – but perhaps their tracking data can? Exploring associations between ‘disappearing’ hen harriers (Circus cyaneus) and grouse moor management ”. It would be disingenuous to comment before the final peer-reviewed study is published, however, we are pleased that this information will finally be in the public domain and open to proper scrutiny. We hope that the peer-reviewed process will ensure the final paper is free from any perceived bias and helps to reduce future hen harrier persecution. This year 34 chicks fledged across Lancashire, Cumbria, Northumberland and Derbyshire, many of which were tagged. Ongoing data collection helps to ensure an accurate picture of hen harrier movements and help pinpoint where they disappear.