Two more sea eagles poisoned in Kerry

Two more white-tailed eagles have been found dead in Ireland. One, found in January 2013, has been confirmed poisoned. Another one is currently undergoing toxicology tests, although it too is suspected of being poisoned.

Full story in the Irish Times here

WTE Kerry 2013

12 Responses to “Two more sea eagles poisoned in Kerry”

  1. 1 Chris Roberts
    February 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    There are at least as many two legged upright walking varmin in Ireland, as there are in Britain.

    Why kill these magnificent birds, that so many good people have reintroduced to their former habitats where they belong? The 21st century “countryside professionals” haven’t evolved in any way form their 19th century equivalants.

    • February 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      It’s not quite the same situation in Ireland as it is in Scotland & England. In Ireland, it’s believed that the poison isn’t put out to deliberately target raptors. Read this letter from 2010 (co-signed by Dr Allan Mee, who manages the Irish sea eagle reintroduction project for the Golden Eagle Trust). His signature adds credibility to the content:


      Having said that, the outcome is still the same. People putting out illegal poisoned baits, killing eagles and other raptors.

      • 3 Chris Roberts
        February 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        Thank you for pointing this out, now I remember I saw a programme about this in TV a while back.

      • 4 nirofo
        February 7, 2013 at 2:30 am

        I’d like to believe that but I’m just a cynical old goat who’s been involved with Raptors for longer than I care to remember, I’ve seen so many different methods of killing them by the so-called professional custodians of the countryside that I don’t believe a word they say anymore, that’s if I ever believed them in the first place, which I didn’t. There I go again being cynical !!!

        • February 7, 2013 at 11:23 am

          Your cynicism is understandable, and shared by many! However, we still maintain that the statement has credibility purely because the Golden Eagle Trust has signed it. The GET is a group that does not pull its punches; remember, several years ago they made a complaint to the EU about the Irish Govt’s failure to protect reintroduced raptors. That complaint resulted in some fundamental changes, notably making it unlawful to lay poisoned bait for foxes.

          Yes, poisoned baits are still being laid out (now illegally), with devastating consequences, but at least now there is a legal framework in place to try and address it. Although we suspect the enforcement problems we see over here will be mirrored in Ireland, i.e. unless you see the individual actually placing the bait then there isn’t a hope in hell of bringing anyone to court. But at least the representative groups in Ireland are publicly condemning the use of poison, and aren’t calling for licences for raptor culls!

  2. 6 dahadam
    February 5, 2013 at 3:35 pm


  3. 7 john miles
    February 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Its about time the reintroduction was put into question. With the Cumbrian one pushing ahead, poison is little used in the Solway and the Lake District so should not be a problem but the Pennines is another story. Surely this poisoning in Ireland was well known before the birds were released!

    • February 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Are you serious John?

      It’s not the reintroductions that need questioning (they should be loudly applauded for what’s been achieved after 100 years of extinction there) – it’s the continued use of poison (and other methods of illegal persecution) that should be questioned. And not just in Ireland either – the reintroduced sea eagles and red kites don’t recognise political boundaries – we’ve had Irish birds over here and they’ve had Scottish birds turning up over there. They are vulnerable whether they’re in Ireland, Scotland or England.

      Or are you suggesting that ALL the reintroductions need questioning? (i.e. Scottish, Irish, English).

  4. 9 Stewart Love
    February 7, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Maybe more thought should be used as to where to reintroduce Raptors of all kinds. Might be best for the birds if they are placed in areas well away from known persecution estates, at least until their numbers increase greatly. We know birds wander, but that can’t be controlled and is needed if birds are to populate other areas. Thinking more in this instance of Hen Harriers.

    • February 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      The thing is Stewart, it doesn’t matter where you reintroduce them in these isles – they are still at risk. Even HHs can wander widely during their early years – look at Bowland Betty, she left Bowland and went right right up to north Scotland before making her way back south to England. Amazingly, she survived her Scottish sojourn but was killed in Yorkshire.

      If you follow John’s logic, there wouldn’t be ANY reintroductions ANYWHERE in our isles. Saying that they don’t use poison on the Solway or in the Lake District and therefore its a suitable reintroduction site is ridiculous – these birds cover HUGE areas during their juvenile years (just look at the sat tag maps of the WTEs). Even if they survive being in their natal area, as soon as they move they’re vulnerable to persecution.

      • 11 Stewart Love
        February 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        I get your point and agree. Was kind of thinking if Raptors could breed in safer areas then there would be more and more Raptors around and their chances of survival all over would improve. Finding safe areas would be a probelm, although the west coast might be safer than the east.

  5. 12 john miles
    February 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I wonder what the Environmental Assessment for this Irish reintroduction said for the number of birds that would be killed by poison!

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