Bird flu responsible for deaths of three white-tailed sea eagles

Recently Fledged 'Eddie' the White Tailed Eagle, successful bred at Garnish Island, Glengariff, County Cork as part of the Reintroduction Programme. Both parents and chick have been thrilling local boatmen and tourists. Soon the pair will begin gearing up for the next breeding season. The 2016 Killarney chick, a female named ‘Danú’ named after the Celtic goddess or the nearby Paps of Danú, left her nest in mid-July, only began to venture away from the lakes of Killarney in late September. She returned to Killarney again and headed west towards Waterville where she remains. Her satellite tracks show that she even spent the night next to another eagle nest in west Kerry that also produced a chick this year. .Photo:Valerie O'Sullivan/FREE PIC/ White Tailed Eagle Project

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.

 

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