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More Golden Eagle Chicks to Be Sent From Scotland for Ireland Reintroduction

Animals  (tags: animals, birds, golden eagles, reintroduction, AnimalWelfare, environment, habitat, protection, wildanimals )

- 3546 days ago -
Scotland will continue providing golden eagle chicks to the Irish Golden Eagle Reintroduction Project, with up to seven chicks to be donated in 2009.


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Jamie L (195)
Tuesday June 30, 2009, 8:29 am
Thanks Cher!

Scotland helps the eagle land in Ireland

June 2009. Scotland will continue providing golden eagle chicks to the Irish Golden Eagle Reintroduction Project, with up to seven chicks to be donated in 2009.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has committed to continue with the project following a comprehensive review by scientists from SNH assisted by the Irish Government, independent scientific and land management advisers, and representatives of the Scottish Government. The project is based on donations of golden eagle chicks from Scotland, taken under licence and according to strict international reintroduction guidelines. As the licensing authority for the taking of golden eagles chicks from nests in Scotland, SNH conducted the review of the licence.

Irish Golden eagle project launched in 2001
The Irish project has been running for eight years, and the review looked at progress so far and future work. The project, managed by the Golden Eagle Trust Limited in partnership with the Irish Government's National Parks and Wildlife Service, is re-establishing a breeding population of golden eagles in north-west Ireland after an absence of almost 100 years.

In June 2001 the project began taking golden eagle chicks from Scottish nests. The licence allowed up to 12 chicks per year to be taken from certain locations and only from nests with more than one chick (as a second chick often does not survive in the wild). The young birds are then kept and fed before being released and followed using radio tracking.

53 Golden eagles released into Glenveagh National Park
By 2008, 53 golden eagles had been released in Glenveagh National Park in Ireland. Many of the birds have spread widely throughout the area, with up to six home ranges in Donegal being occupied.

Poisoning threat
The review looked carefully at the survival and breeding rates of the released birds, and found that the population was on track to become firmly established. There are concerns in some areas about whether some of the released birds may have been poisoned (in February 2009 a poisoned female bird was found in Donegal). The Irish Government is now strengthening laws on the use of poisons.

The review group now requires further resources to go into monitoring golden eagles in Ireland. A group of scientists from Scotland and Ireland will review techniques for taking chicks into captivity for rearing and release, in order to improve the prospects of the released birds surviving.

Dr Ron Macdonald, SNH's head of policy and advice, said: "With the clear support of our Scientific Advisory Committee, I am pleased to confirm that we will continue to donate eaglets to the Irish Golden Eagle Project until 2011. The review has been timely in identifying what's needed to increase the survival of golden eagles in both Scotland and Ireland. Clearly, the review has pointed up some avenues for further investigation regarding the breeding success of eagles in Scotland, and the changes in spring weather conditions may be significant."

Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe, director of science and biodiversity for the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service, said: "I have been pleased to contribute to this review, and reiterate my thanks to Scotland for providing us with golden eagles to continue this massively important project."

The main financial sponsors of the project are the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Ireland; EU LIFE Nature; and the Heritage Council.
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