The team behind the reintroduction of the white-tailed sea eagle to Ireland says bird flu was responsible for a number of deaths last year (2018).
It’s been more than a decade since the first group of eagles were brought from Norway to Killarney National Park, ending a century of extinction in Ireland.
Project manager of the White-Tailed Sea Eagle Reintroduction Programme, Dr Allan Mee says a new threat to the species in Ireland came in 2018 in the form of bird flu.
He says the eagles are more exposed to the disease because they eat sick or injured birds, including wild fowl that have come from abroad.
Three white-tailed sea eagles died of bird flu in 2018.
Dr Mee estimates there are around 50 of the species in Ireland, including some 25 fledglings – however, he says the figure could be actually higher.