Kerry Landowners receive nearly 1.7 million euro to conserve Hen Harrier over past five years

With thanks to photographer Shay ConnollyLandowners in Kerry were allocated €1,684,500 for their conservation efforts of the Hen Harrier over the past five years. According to the Sunday Independent overall €10.4 million has been paid to farmers over the five year period equating to €2,600 to save each of just over 300 hen harriers in Ireland today. Each year, 377 farmers in nine counties included Kerry agree to implement a conservation plan, including the creation of special hedgerows and ‘small mammal’ areas, which allow the birds of prey to breed and roam in safety. However despite the plan there’s been a 38 percent drop in the number of hen harriers in Kerry in the last ten years. That’s according to a recent survey on the hen harrier, compiled by the Golden Eagle Trust, Irish Raptor Study Group, and BirdWatch Ireland. Nationally there’s been a 10 per cent drop in the population in the past 10 years, while there was a 33 per cent decrease in the last 17 years.