24th September 2014: We are sorry to have to announce that two more Hen Harriers are now missing, presumed shot.
As you will remember, back in August, in partnership with several conservation groups, we highlighted the plight of the last few remaining Hen Harrier in England who have been persecuted to the brink of extinction by illegal shooting.
At the time we reported that there are now only three breeding pairs (with a fourth later being discovered) left in England and the offspring they produce this year are vitally important. The chicks were so precious that expensive satellite tracking devices were fitted to them whilst they were still in the nest and the signals from these devices have been monitored and followed ever since. It is with great sadness that the RSPB have had to report that two of the chicks, who had successfully learnt to fly and had left the nest to start their adult life have suddenly gone missing and their tracking tags abruptly stopped transmitting - leading many to believe that this could only be from human intervention.
As these last three breeding pairs get older, the importance of each brood of chicks becomes more and more vital for the future of these birds in England.
Many of you signed cards in our shops, asking the Queen to intervene and help protect these last few birds. We ask you again now to sign the online petition.
It is now up to all of us to keep a keen eye on the remaining birds to ensure that no one dare cause them harm, whilst the world watches.
Please read the RSPB press release here
Additional photo credit: Jude Lane
Photographed as a chick whilst being tagged - this bird is now missing, believed killed.