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White-Tailed Eagles Monitored Ahead Of Reintroduction Project
2019年06月09日 クレジット:Dan Kitwood
ISLE OF MULL, SCOTLAND - JUNE 09: A white-tailed eagle, also known as a sea eagle, comes in to catch a fish thrown overboard from a wildlife viewing boat on June 9, 2019 on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a British conservation charity, is spending the week tagging the birds and as part of a broad ongoing conservation effort to record the population of breeding pairs of white-tailed eagles across Scotland. There are currently around 22 breeding pairs of white-tailed eagles on the Isle of Mull, with the first successful breeding pair occurring in 1985. The eagles are the largest in the UK and the fourth-largest in the world, with a wingspan up to eight feet, and are more closely related to Old World vultures than their island neighbors, golden eagles. They were hunted to extinction in the UK in the early 19th century, with the last bird shot in the Hebrides 1918. Scotland is home to around 130 breeding pairs, whose presence supports a tourist economy of around £5m GBP in the Isle of Mull and £2.4m GBP for the Isle of Skye, farther up Scotlands Western Coast. The close monitoring of this apex predator is part of a re-introduction programme run by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation in partnership with Forestry England. The rewilding scheme hopes to release around 60 birds on the Isle of Wight over five years. The project has courted controversy from some members of National Farmers Union (NFU) who worry that the birds may take lambs, but the programme's proponents argue that any impact on livestock is likely to be minimal due to the abundance of other food sources. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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