The latest national survey of breeding hen harrier recorded 12 territorial pairs (consisting of 11 confirmed pairs plus one possible breeding pair) in the Slieve Bloom Mountains in 2015. These national surveys are undertaken every five years. NPWS has undertaken more intensive and more frequent monitoring of the breeding population of the Slieve Blooms SPA consisting of, inter alia: the identification of proximate causes of nest failure; and the estimation of fledging success rates and overall productivity. Detailed monitoring of the harrier population at this scale and intensity not only provides valuable information in terms of NPWS’ overall surveillance of this species’ national population but also provides an evidence base to inform the conservation management of the SPA itself. Relevant research work underway with regard to this SPA includes data analysis of the long term dataset of Hen Harrier population dynamics in collaboration with UCD and a remote tracking study of recently fledged Hen Harriers.
NPWS is now seeking a monitoring team, which consists of a suitably qualified and experienced senior field worker and one experienced fieldworker operating in a supporting role. This monitoring team is expected to play an integral role NPWS’ monitoring and research activities at this SPA over a 14 week period overlapping with the Hen Harrier 2017 breeding season. The estimated number of combined person days under this contract amounts to 40 days. (Refer to RfT)