Shot golden eagle finally succumbs to its injuries

The golden eagle that was found shot and critically injured on a grouse moor last autumn has finally succumbed to its injuries. The bird apparently died last week, although as far as we can tell there’s been no publicity, which seems a bit surprising given the public interest in this incident. We understand the Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse was informed.

This eagle was discovered ‘barely alive’ last October, on a grouse moor belonging to Buccleuch Estate, close to the boundary with Leadhills Estate (see here). Its death now completes a grisly trilogy of golden eagle killings in Scotland in 2012: one poisoned, one trapped and one shot. And these are just the ones that were discovered.

It’s highly unlikely anyone will be prosecuted for killing these eagles if past incidents are anything to go by. We’ve been keeping a list of known dead or ‘missing’ eagles and any subsequent prosecutions. At last count it was 26 eagles, 6 years, 0 prosecutions (see here).

It’s now 27 eagles, 7 years, 0 prosecutions.

If you want to express your disgust to the Environment Minister and ask him when he’s going to make good on the promise he made last year to consider further measures to bring the raptor killers to justice, please email him at: ministerforenvironment@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

The shot golden eagle ungergoing surgery

15 Responses to “Shot golden eagle finally succumbs to its injuries”

  1. 1 Chris Roberts
    April 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    E-mail sent today!

  2. 2 Sandra Knight
    April 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I can’t believe anyone would want to shoot a golden eagle. .get this sorted immediately before it gets to far out of control, but then 27 eagle deaths is 27 too many. .Please keep the promise you made last year and do the right thing.

  3. 3 Val Howden
    April 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    email sent

  4. 4 Merlin
    April 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    I’ve said this before, 450 pairs of Goldies in Scotland for the last 10 years, the figure has remained stable. they have the capacity to produce 300+ young per year quite easily. Juvenile mortality is greatly reduced when there are available territory’s, there are available territories. 27 is the tip of the iceberg. there is a new generation of moor owners in Scotland now whose only interest is money and making more money. They have little interest in wildlife, you only have to look at the response to the outbreaks of wildfires from the Landowners to realise this, I was going to write “If the shooting industry fails to act now they stand to lose” but we already know they wont act, licensing is the only way forward for this industry, failing that banning driven Grouse shooting altogether, its participants are a disgrace to fieldsports

  5. 5 Ian Rubery
    April 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Increasingly it seems to me that governance in Scotland is like that of an upstart emergent nation. Seemingly driven only by economic concerns, and unconcerned about its depleating natural heritage: too thick to realise the dependence of the former on the latter.
    27 eagles killed in 7 years, 0 prosecutions. Can Scotland be proud of this toll?

  6. April 6, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Well done and thank you to all of you who’ve taken the time to email Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse. According to our site stats, 51 people have so far used the direct email link to send him an email. His inbox should be pretty full by Monday morning.

    We’re fairly sure that he shares our disgust – based on his previous statements – but surely now he must realise the time for talking has passed – we want to see action. If the death of this golden eagle isn’t enough to prompt that action, what on earth will it take?

    If he does decide he needs more evidence that raptor persecution is still going on, he won’t have long to wait. We’ve been given information about several other very recent incidents in Scotland – all currently under investigation and so we can’t discuss details….yet.

    We look forward to hearing from the Minister…

  7. 9 John Clare
    April 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    White-tailed eagles are suffering a similar fate. Please act now to help stop these atrocities. John Clare – RSPB Community Information and Tourism Officer, Isle of Mull. There is good news too however, c.60 breeding pairs of WTE in west Scotland. Come to Mull and visit Mull Eagle Watch for spectacular views of nesting eagles.

  8. 10 Dougie
    April 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I have sent Paul Wheelhouse an epistle.

  9. 11 Roger Tozer
    April 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks to Dave Pierce for alerting the Highland and Moray birds forum to this. Have just e-mailed Mr Wheelhouse the following;

    The recent death of a Golden Eagle, that was shot and critically injured on a grouse moor last year, is a reminder of the never ending catalogue of bird of prey killing and persecution incidents, which are a blot on Scotland’s reputation. In the year of Natural Scotland, this is a disgrace.

    Scotland’s other major land uses, agriculture and forestry are rightly regulated and overseen. As the sporting industry seems incapable of eliminating illegal practices, would you consider it is time to introduce a regulatory framework and licensing system for grouse moor and other sporting estates?

    Roger , Aviemore

  10. April 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

    sent this just now to PW:
    Dear Mr Wheelhouse

    Having read of the death of yet another eagle and the ongoing persecution of birds of prey by landowners is there not the possibility of really going for the owners of sporting estates with punitive penalties, including the removal of all grants etc?. Given all the discussion about dodgy welfare claimants it makes me very annoyed that these estates are able to garner millions in subsidies whilst engaged in criminal acts. Walking and ornithological tourism brings in far more than shooting does.

    I write, not as a rapid anarchist but as a middle aged, small business owner who is becoming increasingly angry at the approach to wildlife crime by the landed class.

    best wishes
    Harris Keillar

  11. 13 Dougie
    April 13, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Anyone had a reply or an acknowledgement from Paul Wheelhouse ?

  12. 15 Roger Tozer
    May 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Reply received on behalf of the Minister on 2nd May. The possibility of further measures was mentioned, but no direct response to my suggestion of sporting estates being licensed.

    [Ed: thanks Roger. We’ll be blogging later this week about the responses we’ve seen]

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