Sea eagles: Britain’s largest bird of prey first sighted in Loch Lomond in over a century
White-tailed eagles – more commonly known as sea eagles – have been observed searching for nesting areas, suggesting they intend to stay for a while.
Various factors, including habitat changes, led to their extinction in the UK around 1918, but since then various efforts have been made to reintroduce the birds.
These conservation efforts began in the 1970s, 1990s and early 2000s and it is now estimated that there are over 150 pairs of breeding sea eagles in the UK.
With Loch Lomond being one of Scotland’s busiest tourist spots, conservation organizations are now working together to protect native birds and minimize disturbance in the hope that they can stay and breed in the years to come.
NatureScot, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority and RSPB Scotland work together to monitor bird behavior and to put in place visitor protection and management measures to ensure birds are not disturbed.
The measures include signs asking visitors to keep their distance and exclusion zones.
Scottish police are also aware of the presence of sea eagles.
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NatureScot Director of Operations Paul Roberts said: âThis is the latest chapter in the continued success of sea eagle conservation.
âTogether with our partners, we are carefully managing the reserve to provide rich and diverse habitats to support a wide range of birds and other wildlife, so it is very rewarding to see sea eagles returning to Loch Lomond after all these years. “
Simon Jones, Director of Environment and Visitor Services at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: âWhite-tailed eagles are the UK’s largest bird of prey and we are delighted to have them here in the national park.
âWe all have a responsibility to help keep these special birds safe and to try to minimize disturbance to them.
We are working with a range of actors who may be affected by the arrival of birds to the region, including loch users, visitors and local farmers.
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