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Appeal for information about missing satellite-tagged hen harrier

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Police are appealing for information about a missing satellite-tagged hen harrier.

The young male bird was tagged at its release site in the Yorkshire Dales on 30 July 2019, as part of the hen harrier brood management scheme. The bird had not been named, but is known to the Natural England monitoring team as 183704.

It is known from satellite tag data that the bird had recently spent a few days in the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire. On the morning of 19 September it had spent time near Thirlmere in the Lake District, before passing through the Mallerstang Common area in the afternoon. At 6.03pm that same evening the last transmission from the tag was received in the Seavy Gutter area of Askrigg Common, but the bird could have flown on for some distance since the last transmission.

Since then no further transmissions have been received from the tag. Natural England field staff have carried out checks with a hand-held scanner and monitored known roost sites, but the bird has not been found.

North Yorkshire Police have carried out two searches, the first being an initial search in the area of the last known transmission, and the second being a more extensive search covering several square kilometres, along with local enquiries. There have been no further sightings of the harrier or transmissions from the tag. Farmers, land owners and gamekeepers in the area have given both Natural England and North Yorkshire Police full cooperation with the search.

The bird is a juvenile male and will still be brown in colour. The bird was ringed and will bear the BTO ring number EA54306.

At this time North Yorkshire Police are keen to locate the bird safe and well, but if found deceased the bird can be subject to post mortem to establish if the cause of death was from natural causes or predation, or if criminal activity was involved.

If you find the bird or have any information please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote reference number 12190177425.

Last modified: October 8, 2019