Trend is positive for white-tailed eagle

Recently Fledged 'Eddie' the White Tailed Eagle, successful bred at Garnish Island, Glengariff, County Cork as part of the Reintroduction Programme. Photo:Valerie O'Sullivan

The group behind the reintroduction of the white-tailed sea eagle to Ireland says the future looks positive.

The scheme to reintroduce the bird to Ireland, after being extinct for a century, started in 2007.

That year, the first group of birds were brought from Norway to Killarney National Park.

Dr Allan Mee, who’s the project manager of the White-Tailed Sea Eagle Reintroduction Programme, says almost eleven years on, trends appear positive for the species.

Death by poisoning had been a serious concern, but the last such definite incident was recorded in April 2015.

Three nestings in the south west – including Kerry – that had been successful in previous years failed in 2017, it’s suspected, as a result of weather conditions.

There are now 51 white-tailed eagles in the country, 30 adults and 21 fledglings.

Dr Mee says this is in keeping with the programme’s expectations over a decade ago