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My Department has implemented a number of initiatives recently to address the conservation of birds of prey, including the hen harrier:
The hen harrier was included in the list of species and habitats of principal importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England, published on
Natural England is looking to improve the conservation of the hen harrier by examining the feasibility of reintroducing this species to the lowland part of its former range.
On the basis of the work carried out by the National Wildlife Crime Unit, hen harrier persecution is a UK wildlife crime priority. The inclusion of hen harrier persecution as a wildlife crime priority for two years running demonstrates how seriously the Government take this issue.
The wildlife incident investigation scheme (WIIS) investigates the deaths of wildlife throughout the UK where there is evidence that pesticide poisoning may be involved. WIIS is supported by the Campaign Against Illegal Poisoning (CAIP), which aims to protect some of Britain's rarest birds of prey and wildlife from accidental and illegal poisoning by pesticides, and was relaunched in July 2008. Over the next three years activities under CAIP will include preventing poisoning and improving detection of poisoning cases.
To emphasise the Government's concern about persecution of birds of prey, on