I have been following the sea eagle re-introductions for some time and having brought up sea eagles before in another thread I thought I’d comment.
The use of the word alien here is either deliberate misuse of language or a sign of the author’s ignorance after all if sea eagles were alien then it wouldn’t be a re-introduction, I tend to suspect the former is the case.
The time has now come for the Scottish Government to admit that sea eagle re-introduction has gone wrong - and do something about it.
If golden eagles are really as iconic as he suggests why are they still being illegally persecuted by game keepers were it not for the continued poisoning of golden eagles in Scotland there would likely now be a breeding population in the north of England. Human persecution is a far greater threat to golden eagles than competition from sea eagles and to imply that the former is native and the latter is not is (in my view) being deliberately misleading. Sea eagles as suggested by their name are primarily (though not exclusively) coastal birds and were once found right around the British Isles as much at home on the south coast of England as in the Scottish Isles.
The white-tailed sea eagle once lived all over Britain, even nesting as far
south as the Isle of Wight in 1780. The last known sea eagle in the UK
lived in Shetland. She was an albino (all white) and the locals had
protected her for over 30 years. Eventually she was shot in 1918 and the
sea eagle became EXTINCT in Britain. Sea Eagles had been wiped out
by persecution by farmers and gamekeepers. One Scottish estate at
Glengarry recorded a total of 1372 birds of prey killed between 1837
and 1840 including 27 white-tailed eagles.
All about White-tailed Sea Eagles
The re-introduction of sea eagles to the Scottish Islands and West Coast has so far proved very successful the population principally on Skye, Mull and Wester Ross in 2012 numbered 57 pairs. At the same time in 2012 the re-introduction of eagles to the East Coast of Scotland came to an end this part of the project has so far also so far proved successful and sea eagles are now breeding on the East Coast, the hope is that the two populations will eventually meet in the middle.
Though I haven’t yet been to see the Sea eagles plenty of other people have according to the RSPB website
Research has shown that of a total annual tourist spend of £100m on Mull, £5m was attracted by the presence of sea eagles.
There is a similar project to re-introduce sea eagles to the South West of Ireland however there is considerable opposition from local sheep farmers and a significant number of the released birds have been poisoned, putting the success of the project in doubt.
The proposed re-introduction of sea eagles to the coast of Suffolk will more than likely not go ahead or has certainly been put on hold largely because of opposition from local people.
Are Sea Eagles Coming Back to Suffolk
Surely we don't have to wait until a small child is attacked before the government intervenes
This is this just the most ridiculous nonsense I have ever heard all of the chicks brought over for reintroduction have come from Norway where there is a large population of sea eagles, I have never once heard of a Norwegian child being snatched by an eagle and if such a thing had ever happened I certainly would have done.
If Scottish farmers and game keepers genuinely believe that sea eagles are causing serious problems then they should produce proper independent scientific evidence to prove this is the case and stop all the daft scaremongering which only serves to make them look ridiculous.
So the answer to the question is no, until someone produces credible evidence that sea eagles are having significant impact on livestock or wildlife they should not be controlled.
While I’m sure that most game keepers do not persecute birds of prey sadly too many still do so the idea that the Scottish Game Keepers Association should be especially concerned about golden eagles is just laughable when these birds are still being poisoned.
This is another example of an issue that is being deliberately clouded by propaganda and misinformation in this case by people who are hoping that the majority of the Scottish public will be sufficiently ignorant or ill informed to take their side. What’s more if there really is an issue with sea eagles taking some lambs then exaggerating the problem won’t help at all.