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Hen Harrier ecology and requirements for conservation

PhD research project

PhD student: Barry O'Donoghue
Supervisors: Prof. John O'Halloran & Dr. Tom Kelly 
Funders: National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine


Project Description: 
The Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) is a rare bird of prey found in the Irish uplands during the summer breeding season, and on lowlands during the autumn and winter. Once widespread in Ireland its numbers have fluctuated through history, often associated with land use change, and recent estimates suggest that as few as 150 breeding pairs remain here. The aim of this study was to investigate the biology and habitat requirements of Hen Harriers in Ireland. Factors affecting breeding success, diet, winter ecology, ranging behaviour and foraging were investigated.


Adult Female Hen Harrier

Adult female Hen Harrier in flight

Should anyone have any information on the Hen Harrier locations at any time of the year, winter or summer, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact Barry_O'



Planning and Management Tools for Biodiversity in a Range of Irish Forests

PLANFORBIO Research Programme, Dept. of Zoology, Ecology & Plant Science, University College Cork, Distillery Fields,North Mall, Cork, Ireland