Saturday, 6 March 2010

Golden Eagle.

No not a Golden Eagle but there is a link with the White-tailed Eagle in the story below, this one Mike Watson saw and photographed at Hortobagy National Park in Hungary 2007....Thanks for the pic Mike.  This news is something we should never tire of hearing about although you'd be hard pressed to know what we as individuals can actually do about this tragic situation in the 21st century.

A young Golden Eagle has been found poisoned at Truskmore Mountain on the Sligo/Leitrim border in Ireland, the bird was 10 month old and had been reared in an eyrie in Donegal last year. This bird had been tracked and found using a sophisticated satellite tracking device fitted to the birds back and the corpse was recovered on 18 February. A post mortem was carried out and revealed the young male to be in excellent condition prior to its death, subsequent tests proved the bird had been poisoned by Nitroxynil poured over the fleece of a dead newborn lamb.

Last year another satellite-tagged Golden Eagle was found poisoned with Paraquat just a day later than this years discovery on 19 February 2009 in West Donegal. In total 9 White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles and Red Kites have been confirmed poisoned in Ireland over the last two and a half years and recent monitoring by the Golden Eagle Trust proves that up to four different poisons have been used illegally in four different areas in Ireland but the same trust believes that over 95% of landowners in Ireland do not use poison. Its a case of the 'old story' of the Irish Government who - like some other governments who are members of the EU - are failing in the need to implement legislation protecting these rare scavenging birds of prey.  

Tragically much good work in educating farmers has been undone by the publication in an Irish farming journal which advised sheep farmers that....'Alphachloralose is mixed with mincemeat and fat placed alongside a fresh stillborn lamb'....this appalling advice on a reckless use of a poison appears to indicate a total disregard for regulations and from a voice of Irish farming no less.

Birdwatch Ireland have commented that it can only be hoped that public anger over this sad event will ensure that the barbaric practice of leaving out meat-based poisons by a tiny minority of farmers can be a major contribution to finally eliminating this unacceptable behaviour.


On a lighter note Ian Tallon sent me this excellent image of a Waxwing he saw this week at Dalton-in Furness in Cumbria....once Lancashire! Thanks for this Ian and for your interest in Birds2blog, it is much appreciated. And even more good news to end with is that of a Little-ringed Plover on Frodsham Marsh in Cheshire today, not many more miles as the LRP flies and it could have been on Conder Pool. 


Pete Marsh said...

Hmmm. Of course I am not condoning this - it is prehistoric behaviour, but there is a suggestion that the introduction schemes were perhaps not communicated quite as well as they could have been to the farming community.

I would be interested to see the reasoning behind the farming journal publishing such advice - a logical consequence of a communication breakdown with the farming community or simply a maverick journalist going for copy?

Introduction schemes and naturalised escapes do seem to cause problems in some areas - witness the Bowland RSPB staff spending far too much of their precious time dealing with internet postings from ill-informed pillocks re-Eagle Owls instead of getting on with the main job of conserving habitat and Hen Harriers/Merlins etc.

Pete Woodruff said...

Thanks for comments Pete. A bit late in the day to really digest them so probably may do so Sunday.

Pete Woodruff said...

Not sure the lack of communication would have made much - if any - difference to the 5% who probably still use poisons Pete....hardened criminals don't you think?

Can't imagine what the farming journal was thinking of in publishing the 'advice' to the community.

Don't want to go down the introduction many points against as opposed to those for on this one in my opinion.

And by the way I think the 'self introduced' Black Kite in Wales at the farm feeding 'zoo' is a complete tragedy as this wild bird has discovered a meal at a set time everyday here with its relations, why should it now return to the 'wild' as indeed the 'Reds' never will.

Pete Marsh said...

Good moneyspinner, the Black Kite. Please dont ask me to explain this - I havnt got a good lawyer, or indeed any lawyer.