The Merlin is the U.K.’s smallest bird of prey and there are only 900 to 1500 breeding pairs in the U.K. Because of the small number of these birds they are classed as a Red Status (highest conservation priority).
Because of the Merlins Red Status, people who visit their nests do so under a strict licence given by Natural England, this is to try and keep disturbance to an absolute minimum. The nests are normally visited once to confirm the chicks are there and then a later visit to ring the chicks. Due to the Merlins being an Endangered Species it is essential to try and gather as much information about them as possible.
Years of study and careful management by the moor owners and their keepers makes the North Yorkshire Moors an extremely important place for the #Merlins to live and this is a real positive for the area as the numbers here are fairly stable.