Hawk and Owl Trust Criticized Over Stance on Hen Harriers

The Hawk and Owl Trust has been heavily criticized on social media for its stance on Hen Harrier recovery. It all stemmed from a blog post by Mark Avery in which he speculated about the potential for the Hawk and Owl Trust to be involved in a brood management  scheme. The new chair of the trust, Philip Merricks, replied to the post with the news that:

“…a month or so later, the Board of Trustees agreed unanimously (all were present with the exception of one Trustee who was abroad) that a Hen Harrier brood management scheme trial (NB trial) is the way forward for the recovery of Hen Harrier populations.

The criticism is due to the fact it is seen as giving in to the owners of the large hunting estates and ignores the real issue of persecution. The following is from BAWC  (link to full article):

If the calls for brood management are listened to, so allowing a fully protected species to be managed solely to benefit a minority commercial interest (no plausible argument based solely on the species’ current and future conservation needs has surfaced so far), what sort of precedent might that set? How often in the future will ‘brood management’ be touted as a ‘solution’ to other apparently unresolvable conflicts in the natural world? Will ‘brood management’ of Hen Harriers open the door to a major weakening of laws protecting other raptors – for example Buzzards and Peregrines, both of which are in ‘conflict’ with industry and sporting interests?”

Articles that have been published on this topic in the last 2 days:

Raptor Persecution Scotland: hawk and owl trust getting it badly wrong 

Mark Avery: Hawk and Owl losing trust

Mark Avery: Collaboration or collaborationism?

BAWC: Hen Harrier Brood Management: our position

Philip Merricks, Chairman Hawk and Owl Trust: In response to various blog posts and resulting comments on the Mark Avery Blog site

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1 Response

  1. 8th February 2015

    […] It is believed to be related to the Hawk and Owl Trusts stance on Hen Harrier recovery, in which their chairman has suggested they may be involved in a brood management scheme as early as this spring, a move which is widely seen as giving in to hunting estate owners and ignores the main issue of persecution. Links to more information can be found on our previous post: Hawk and Owl Trust Criticized Over Stance on Hen Harriers  […]

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