Improvements to habitats in the south of Scotland could lead the area to become a stronghold for golden eagles.
A study carried out by the Scottish Natural Heritage showed that the area could potentially support up to 16 pairs, almost four times the present number.
At the moment there are thought to be no more than one or two pairs in Galloway and no more than three in the Scottish Borders.
Prof Des Thompson of SNH, who led the research, told the BBC "We would now like to see on-the-ground, practical work to improve the habitat for golden eagles in the south of Scotland.
"With habitat improvements, we could see connections with the small reintroduced population in Ireland. This would help both groups of eagles and could even help bolster the population in the north of England."