Reports of raptor killings soared during the U.K.'s lockdown

Conservationists allege that during the pandemic, gamekeepers on grouse shooting estates have killed many protected raptors—and that the government has turned a blind eye.

Abundant throughout most of their range in Europe and Asia, hen harriers are endangered in the U.K., where fewer than 600 pairs remain, in part because they’re allegedly shot by gamekeepers on shooting estates to prevent them from preying on grouse or disturbing a shoot. Satellite tagging studies allow experts to track the protected birds’ whereabouts and document when they die.

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