Help save the Peregrine Falcons
Classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it covers 808 square Kilometers of rural Lancashire and North Yorkshire.
The Forest of Bowland is internationally important for its upland bird populations and under the Habitats Directive "Bowland Fells" are designated a Special Protection Area for specific birds of prey.
The Forest of Bowland may be an SPA, but raptors like Hen Harrier and Peregrine Falcon receive no protection.
In 2009 - 25 Peregrine territories in the Forest of Bowland were examined by the NWRG. 17 sites were occupied, 6 nests failed following the loss of eggs, chicks and adult birds. A total of 11 territories produced 24 fledged young.
In 2010 the Government’s Wildlife Adviser, Natural England, withdrew Peregrine licenses for use in the Forest of Bowland from members of the NWRG, following the group’s disclosure on social media of wide scale raptor persecution throughout this moorland region, where Red Grouse are shot. Other licenses issued to group members since 1974, covering additional raptor species including Peregrine for areas outside the Forest of Bowland remained unaffected.
By 2016, 99% of Bowland Peregrine nesting territories were found abandoned.
The loss of an entire regional population of Peregrines (18 pairs) from the Forest of Bowland is unprecedented.
To protect these Peregrines, the NWRG need your help to purchase the following urgently needed kit: Go-Pro camera - 2 mountain bikes - radio transceivers & infra-red night vision goggles.
Throughout the last 43 years members of the North West Raptor Group have self-funded their work.
If the killing of Peregrines continues, they will be lost forever, not only from the Forest of Bowland but also from the rest of England's northern uplands, where Red Grouse are shot for sport.
By the late afternoon the group had examined two former nesting territories which had remained abandoned since 2009. Not surprisingly despite a huge amount of effort yesterday, and having examined two of the three sites very carefully, no visible evidence of any peregrine presence or activity was detected at either site, for example the lack of any fresh streaks of white droppings, white dawn or recently predated prey items strongly suggesting peregrines had not returned to either territory this year.
The last territory visited produced an exciting and unexpected result raising the excitement levels of each of the three group members concealed in deep heather overlooking the territory. Watching the third nesting site from almost 400 metres through binoculars, the view of two peregrines (male & female) were immediately observed in aerial display approx 200 metres in the sky above the territory, a spectacle not seen at this moorland location for over 6 years. Although yesterday observation was too early for egg laying by the pair, the behaviour of both falcons clearly indicated the territory had this season been reoccupied. This belief was reinforced when the male peregrine alighted on a prominent rock above a known historic nesting ledge which had been used by breeding peregrines at this site on many occasions prior to 2010.
You will be pleased to learn that as of yesterday we were aware of two occupied peregrine nesting territories in the Forest of Bowland this season. But we still have much work yet to carry out if there is any chance of returning more pairs of nesting peregrines back into the Forest of Bowland where this iconic raptor rightly belongs. Please help us fight and combat their illegal persecution by making a small donation to support our vital campaign. Thank you once again to all of you who have already made your donation.
Terry Pickford, North West Raptor Protection Group
North West Raptor Protection Group
So in future, what ever the figure shows for donations, the campaign donations will in fact be £50 higher.
We still have some way to go if our final target is to be reached, so if you can share the details of our aims with you friends and contacts we would be very grateful. Thank you once again for your assistance and support.