BUILDING on a report published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) last year, a new project will help boost the number of golden eagles in the South of Scotland.
The project will look in detail at further work needed to revive the population, with the importance of such conservation projects underlined by recent incidences of “raptor persecution.”
Dr McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform , formally launched the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project at Langholm Moor this morning.
She commented: “Golden eagles are truly magnificent birds and it is very exciting that the South of Scotland could potentially support more than a dozen pairs.
Presently, there are no more than two to four pairs of golden eagles in Southern Scotland, with limited nesting success.
The project has its roots in a joint initiative between Scottish Land & Estates and RSPB Scotland who came together in the summer of 2008 to produce a proposal with the aim of trying to understand what was limiting the golden eagle population in the South of Scotland.
Duncan Orr-Ewing, of RSPB Scotland commented: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with SNH, Scottish Land & Estates and Buccleuch Estates to help reinforce the population of one of Scotland’s most iconic species, the golden eagle, in the south of Scotland.
“The initial scoping work by the partnership is showing healthy prospects for a thriving golden eagle population in the future in this area.
“We hope to secure official approval in due course to make this project a reality, following engagement with local community and other interests to secure their support.
“This project will contribute to the delivery of the emerging Scottish Biodiversity Strategy.”