Friday 24 March 2017

White-tailed eagle - one of Ireland’s most endangered species - found dead by poisoning

A white-tailed sea eagle, which was found dead in its nest at the start of the month was poisoned, tests have confirmed. Photo: Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht/PA Wire
A white-tailed sea eagle, which was found dead in its nest at the start of the month was poisoned, tests have confirmed. Photo: Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht/PA Wire
The illegal killing in Connemara is the 13th to hit Ireland's reintroduction programme since it began in 2007. Photo: Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht/PA Wire
The poisoning was condemned by the Golden Eagle Trust, an organisation fighting to keep the species alive.

By Paul Healy

A White-tailed eagle, one of Ireland’s most endangered species, has been found dead by poisoning in Connemara.

The tragic discovery happened on April 1, where a conservation ranger found the six-year-old female bird in her nest, just days away from laying eggs.

The poisoning was condemned by the Golden Eagle Trust, an organisation fighting to keep the species alive.

It described the event as “a serious blow” to a reintroduction project, which saw many of its kind being released into the wild.

Dr Allan Mee, who is project manager for the reintroduction project of White-tailed eagles, said that the Trust had been “trying its best to raise awareness about laying poison”.

“Under the new legislation, we still have not had one prosecution”, he told the Irish Independent.

The use of poisons to control foxes and crows has been banned since 2010.

“While we have had a lot of effort raising awareness in Kerry, we haven’t had that influence elsewhere, like in Connemara where this bird died”, he said.

The female eagle settled in the Roundstone area of Connemara in 2012 where she paired up with a male.

Her first mating process failed to produce any eggs, but breeders were hopeful that she would give birth to a new generation of her kind this month.

This is the 13th confirmed poisoning of a White-tailed Eagle in Ireland since the reintroduction project began in 2007.

Online Editors

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News