Northumbria Police and the RSPB are appealing for information following the sudden disappearance of a satellite-tagged hen harrier in the Allen Valleys – a female bird known as Ada.

The hen harrier hatched on a nest in the Scottish Borders this summer and was fitted with a satellite tag as part of the RSPB’s Hen Harrier LIFE project, to learn more about the journeys made by these rare birds of prey and the survival challenges they face.

On the morning of October 10, Ada sent her last transmission from an area of grouse moor east of Allendale and neither the bird nor her tag have been heard from since. Her disappearance is being treated as suspicious and was reported to the police.

The RSPB said scientific research published in March 2019 showed that 72 per cent of the satellite-tagged hen harriers in their study were killed or very likely to have been killed on British grouse moors, and that hen harriers were 10 times more likely to die or disappear over areas of grouse moor relative to other land uses.

Dr Cathleen Thomas, senior project manager for the Hen Harrier LIFE project, said: “More than 30 chicks were tagged this summer and we’ve watched with interest as they’ve grown up and flown around the country.

“We’re absolutely gutted that Ada has disappeared in suspicious circumstances at just a few months old.”

Anyone with information relating to this incident, should call Northumbria Police on 101.