Two sea eagles found dead in Kerry
Two more white-tailed sea eagle, introduced to the Killarney National Park from Norway as part of the raptor re-introduction programme over the past five years, have been found dead.
Two more white-tailed sea eagles, introduced to the Killarney National Park from Norway as part of the raptor reintroduction programme over the past five years, have been found dead.
Twenty six of the original 100 birds have now been recovered dead, 12 of them poisoned.
Poisoning has been confirmed in the case of a female bird found on the sea shore near Glengarriff, Co Cork on January 18th. She had been introduced in 2010.
A second bird has now been found at Derrynane, on the Ring of Kerry, and the carcass is being analysed to determine cause of death.
Test results from the State Laboratory in Celbridge confirmed the Glengarriff bird had been poisoned, presumably as a result of eating carrion.
The white-tailed eagle, golden eagle, and red kite reintroduction projects in the Republic are managed by the Golden Eagle Trust in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Environment.
A total of 100 white-tailed sea eagles have been released in Killarney National Park, Co Kerry as part of the release phase of the reintroduction programme. The first breeding attempt of the reintroduction programme was a pair that nested on Lough Derg, Co Clare in 2012. At least six pairs could potentially nest in 2013.
Project manager Dr Allan Mee has appealed for vigilance and protection for the birds. "As we are no longer releasing birds into the wild it is vital that we now start producing our own chicks in the wild to replace any birds that are lost and maintain the population. We are hoping that this year will be a milestone for the reintroduction project."
A number of pairs could be expected to breed this year, he said.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, said: "The poisoning of an eagle in County Cork is very serious. Eagles are protected by law, they are majestic birds of prey, and their reintroduction to Ireland is an important and very worthwhile project. My department is providing any assistance it can to the gardaí in the investigation of this matter."