more sea eagles set for release in Ireland despite poison fears

Project Manager Dr Allan Mee with two poisoned sea eagles

The Norwegian authorities have cautiously agreed to provide Ireland with 20 more white-tailed sea eagles later this month, despite the on-going poisoning that threatens the viability of the project.

So far, 14 of the 55 sea eagles given by Norway to Ireland as part of the re-introduction project have been found dead, and at least 7 of these were confirmed to have been poisoned. Earlier this year, 3 sea eagles were found poisoned in County Kerry in the space of just four weeks. All had fallen victim to eating poisoned baits.

The Golden Eagle Trust (the organisation leading the re-introduction effort on white-tailed eagles, golden eagles and red kites) believe that the majority of sheep farmers in the region are supportive of the project, but that a small minority of landowners are still laying out poisoned baits that are having such a devastating effect.

Full story:

Golden Eagle Trust website:

4 thoughts on “more sea eagles set for release in Ireland despite poison fears”

  1. I’m confused…the reports and the blog seem to interchange “farmers,landowners and gun clubs” at will…

    Who is actually doing the poisoning?

    Why would gun clubs be involved?…are they putting down partridge and pheasant? why else would they be involved?

    I thought there were no large scale landowners in that part of the world – just farmers..?

    Anyone know the answer to this please?….

  2. Dave, shooting was one of the reasons the WTSE became extinct in Ireland, so I think it was important that the gun clubs were ‘on board’ so to speak with the reintro project. I don’t believe they are causing too much of a problem (although at least 1 WTSE has been shot) and its the farmers who are laying the bait, probably for foxes but they can’t plead ignorance about the risk to the eagles. This is a very highly publicised project and everyone knows the dangers of poisoned bait to eagles.

  3. I think you’ll find that if you speak to hill farmers then the vast majority of them will say that that the re introduction of fish eagles is a devastating idea. For example, an estate that I represent has seen lambing percentages fall from 80% to 60% with the re introduction of fish eagles on Skye, thus making a marginal enterprise now uneconomical. (bare in mind that these are hefted sheep that you cant just ‘replace’)

    Now I cant condone the poisoning of raptors, but you guys dont appear to understand the impact that raptors can have on farming businesses, be it upland sheep, grouse, etc etc. I know that the killing of raptors is illegal and morally wrong, but why the hell are more being re introduced. They’ll only be a nuisance to someone’s business before they are eventually poisoned and killed.

    It is clear that like anything else in life, we need a balance. Yes we need to have a healthy population of raptors, but it has to be a balancing act between the needs of business and a way of life and the demands of conservation. There are far too many Buzzards around at the moment (their population has sky rocketed in the last few years) and Hen Harrier populations are critically low – it comes back to my point of balance.

    It is all too easy for you guys to sit there in your armchair and comment on how outrageous it is that birds of prey are being killed. You need to look at the facts and understand why people do it – no one wants to poison birds of prey, but occasionally needs must for the survival of the hill farmer operating in a sector that is struggling massively at the moment.

    The argument with grouse is slightly different, but one that I may argue later.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: