Sunday, February 18, 2007

White-tailed Eagles in Irish Skies.

I was at a conference, yesterday, 17 February 2007, in Dublin, with delegates from Norway, America, Scotland and the UK, of The Annual Irish Raptor Study Group

Before you read any further, there are attempts being made to block this project, and there is a petition for folk to sign at this link. White-tailed Eagle Petition. The Red Kite has been successfully reintroduced to England, with 1000+ pairs now, which is 5% of the worlds declining 20000 pairs. The White-tailed Eagle is being re-established in Scotland, RSPB and The Golden Eagle to Ireland (now 40 pairs), Irish Raptor Study Group. So, why should this project be blocked? Let’s fill the skies with Eagles again…

White-tailed Eagle Reintroduction Project!

Photo by Leirdal, click on picture to visit his Flickr site

This year sees the launch of the most exciting wildlife reintroduction programme ever undertaken in Ireland!

During the summer of 2007, the White-Tailed Sea Eagle, one of the largest birds of prey in the world, is to be reintroduced into Killarney National Park as part of a five-year project.

As part of a carefully researched programme, the Golden Eagle Trust Limited in association with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Irish White-tailed Eagle Reintroduction Group will release 15 chicks a year being brought from Norway to specific zones of the Killarney National Park.

It is hoped that after five to six years the birds will begin to breed across the wider coastal and upland regions of Kerry and West Cork. For almost a century people have been deprived of the glory of experiencing these great birds soaring again over our sea and landscapes.

The Facts


White-tailed Eagles lived in Ireland for thousands of years, before they were driven to extinction in the early 1900’s, due to poisoning, shooting and egg collecting.
Photo by ketch, click on picture to visit his Flickr site

Sea eagles are scavengers and principally feed on carrion (mainly dead whales, seals, birds, sheep, deer). They will also hunt seabirds, fish that swim near the surface of the water, rabbits, hares and fox cubs.

Sea Eagles construct large nests of branches and twigs in trees or on cliff faces. The female lays an average of two eggs, which she incubates for about six weeks before the young fledge the nest after 7-9 weeks. The first breeding of the sea eagles would be expected in 2012.

A Common Myth

Eagles present a serious threat to livestock!

Evidence from abroad in Scandinavia and Scotland along with experience in Donegal where the Golden Eagle has been successfully re-introduced points to very limited interference with sheep and other farm animals. Norway’s 3000 eagles have never been recorded attacking or killing sheep or lambs.

In Ireland, any lambs that would potentially fall prey to the eagles would be negligible compared to those lost due to through poor husbandry, cliff-falls (over a hundred per annum on the Reeks alone) to preying by the estimated 10000 foxes dwelling in County Kerry, dog-attacks, etc.

Ambassadors of the Skies

These Majestic birds are great Ambassadors. Who cannot feel awed and inspired when seeing an Eagle soar. These creatures reconnect us to nature, inspire art and poetry and greater efforts in our daily conservation efforts. Please visit the White-tailed Eagle Petition and register your support for this pjoject.

Copyright honours to the above website at www.aniolair and the (photo contributers at flickr) for the material which I have copied and pasted here for the sake of accuracy. Please visit the site and add your name. Much Respect.

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Blogger Maalie said...

Yeah, bring them back, I say. Give it a go. I saw them on Mull last year, magnificent birds!

9:18 AM  

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