RSPB Scotland has launched an on-line petition to have the golden eagle named as Scotland’s national bird.
Capitalising on the golden eagle being recently voted as the nation’s favourite animal (in SNH’s ‘Big Five’ Campaign), the RSPB is hoping that Scottish Ministers will formally designate the species as a national symbol and thus show their commitment to protecting this bird from the appalling persecution it continues to suffer.
An RSPB spokeswoman said:
“The petition urges ministers to formally designate the species as a national symbol, placing it alongside the lion rampant, Saltire and Scottish thistle as emblems of the country. There are currently just 431 pairs of golden eagles in the whole of Scotland. Owing to centuries of persecution, this most charismatic of birds has been almost entirely confined to the more remote areas of the country, such as the mountains and glens of the west coast and on the western isles, with numbers held at artificially low levels and many territories vacant. Its restricted range and tendency to favour the more remote and dramatic areas has made it become a coveted sight for any visitor who appreciates Scotland’s magnificent wildlife spectacles. But now RSPB Scotland is pressing for the adoption of the golden eagle as Scotland’s national bird, helping to raise its profile, turn around its fortunes and see it return once again to its former range thus increasing the chances of a sighting for visitors and local people.”
Stuart Housden, Head of RSPB Scotland said:
“It is a stirring symbol of strength and pride, qualities well befitting to a modern Scotland and its people. 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland – a period where the Scottish Government is celebrating our most impressive natural heritage. What better legacy can we provide for this initiative than to officially designate the eagle as Scotland’s national bird and join together for its future conservation? It would formally recognise the place this species has unofficially occupied in our culture for many centuries, and show our commitment and desire to protect and conserve it, and our wider national heritage, for generations to come.”
Please consider signing the petition – if nothing else, it will put further pressure on those who continue to shoot, poison and trap this species. Signing is easy – it takes seconds – the closing date is 6th December 2013. Please sign here.