Regular readers of this blog will be aware that we have been trying to find out what happened to Sky and Hope, two young hen harriers that fledged from nests in Bowland this year.
We were tracking the movements of these birds by satellite but their tags suddenly stopped transmitting last month, within days of each other. No bodies have been recovered.
Satellite technology is normally extremely reliable so it is most likely that Sky and Hope were either victims of natural predation or illegal persecution.
Lancashire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit were notified about the disappearance of these birds. However, without any sufficient evidence to work with, they are currently unable to progress any investigation.
If you spend time in the Bowland area you might be able to help. Has anyone been talking about the fate of the birds locally? Gamekeepers, in particular, spend more time on the moors than anyone else and could have come across something. If you’re a member of this community, do you know anything about the fate of the harriers that you’d be willing to share in complete confidence?
We are offering a £1,000 reward for any information that leads to a conviction, should it emerge that one or both birds were illegally killed.
Here are the facts:
Sky’s last transmission was at 7.33pm on Wednesday 10 September around Summersgill Fell, west of Thrushgill, in the Forest of Bowland.
Hope’s last transmission was at 10.51am on the Saturday 13 September around Mallowdale Pike, also in the Forest of Bowland.
The last transmissions from Hope (L) and Sky (R) were somewhere within these circles
If you have any information about either birds, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or call the RSPB’s confidential hotline on 0845 466 3636.