Golden eagle project sees bird numbers soar to new heights

The golden eagle inhabitants within the south of Scotland has reached new heights, conservationists have stated, with the best quantity recorded within the space because the early nineteenth century.

Golden eagles have been as soon as virtually extinct within the space however numbers are actually thriving, with 33 of the birds recorded after a challenge to extend the inhabitants within the wild.

As a part of the challenge to save lots of the species, conservationists caught, transported and launched seven younger, free-flying golden eagles from the Outer Hebrides in a UK first.

Cat Barlow, supervisor of the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, stated: “This might be a ground-breaking method for the worldwide conservation administration of golden eagles and different raptors.

“We will continue to monitor these birds to see if they settle, thrive and breed in the south of Scotland, which will be the real measure of success.”

Eagle numbers within the south of Scotland are being boosted (South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project /John Wright/PA)

The birds have been fastidiously captured, below licence from NatureScot, by raptor ecologists Dave Anderson and Robin Reid, and Scottish Raptor Study Group member Graeme Anderson at bait websites within the Outer Hebrides – which has Europe’s highest concentrations of the species.

Project officers stated they didn’t choose grownup or breeding birds, and transported 5 females and two males in specially-designed journey packing containers earlier than swiftly releasing them at a secret location.

The challenge crew has beforehand launched eagles collected as chicks from nests within the Highlands and Islands, a course of which is rather more broadly used for raptor conservation programmes.

In half due to Covid-19 restrictions, the crew struggled to supply a adequate variety of birds. It was then, after analysis, the challenge determined to catch and transfer free-flying birds.

Before the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project started there was solely between two and 4 pairs of golden eagles throughout Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

There are actually round 33 golden eagles within the south of Scotland (South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project /John Wright/PA)

A supporting examine by NatureScot reveals that the native habitat is appropriate for as much as 16 pairs.

Since 2018, the challenge has efficiently moved 12 juvenile golden eagles, collected at round six to eight weeks outdated from the Highlands, in addition to the seven sub-adult birds aged between six months and three years.

Francesca Osowska, NatureScot’s chief govt, stated: “This ground-breaking challenge has completed a lot over just some years, bringing a viable inhabitants of golden eagles again to south Scotland and provoking different comparable initiatives around the globe.

“Particularly through the twin crises of local weather emergency and biodiversity loss, it’s great to see a hit like this.

“Golden eagles are a vital part of Scotland’s wildlife and we’re passionate about returning them to places where they used to thrive. This is brilliant partnership working and a great support for the local green economy.”

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