A RSPB spokesperson has said the solution to the conflict between hen harrier campaigners and grouse shooters suggested by a new study should be attempted only once other "less interventionist" avenues have been exhausted.
The research, published by the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, says managing hen harrier numbers on UK moorland may allow the bird of prey to co-exist with commercial grouse shooting.
A brood management scheme may merit experimental investigation in the future, but only once hen harrier numbers have recovered to a pre-agreed level and less interventionist approaches, particularly diversionary feeding, have been widely attempted.
The authors suggest that there is room on English grouse moors to support 70 pairs of hen harriers with only minimal costs to landowners. We want to work together with the shooting community to resolve the conflict by using tried-and-tested methods such as diversionary feeding, until the apparent impact of that then requires an alternative approach.
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