As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Eagles and other raptors still being poisoned in Ireland

Wildlife continues to suffer as illegal poisoning shows no signs of dying out - Courtesy of BirdWatch Ireland 

February 2013. The recent deaths of two White-tailed Eagles in south-west Ireland have once again raised serious concerns over the continuing incidents of illegal poisoning in the country. Despite changes to the legislation in 2010 which effectively banned the use of poison meat baits, this archaic practice is still being carried out by a small minority in the Irish countryside, with devastating effects on wildlife.

The carcasses of the two dead White-tailed Eagles:
note the radio trasmitters on each bird 
(Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan)
Eagle poisoned in west Cork
In January of this year the carcass of a female White-tailed Eagle was discovered by a member of the public near Glengariff in west Cork. Subsequent toxicology analysis confirmed that the bird had died from poisoning. A second White-tailed Eagle was also found dead near Caherdaniel in County Kerry in the same month, and although poisoning is suspected it has not been possible to confirm the cause of death.

100 sea eagles released - At least 12 poisoned
White-tailed Eagles were once relatively widespread in Ireland, but became extinct in this country during the 19th century, largely as a result of human persecution. Since 2007, a total of 100 eagles have been released in Killarney through a re-introduction project managed by the Golden Eagle Trust. Although 2012 marked their first breeding attempt in Ireland in over 100 years, the issues which originally led to these magnificent birds being wiped out from this country over a century ago have unfortunately not disappeared. Twenty six eagles have been found dead since their re-introduction began in 2007, and it has been confirmed that at least twelve of these were poisoned.

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