The eagles have landed: chicks released to boost their population here


The Taoiseach has released white-tailed eagle chicks into the wild in Kerry as part of an initiative to reintroduce the species to Irish skies.

Micheál Martin, under the direction of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, released the manatees in Tarbert, Co. Kerry yesterday.

A total of 16 eagles are to be released at three sites in Munster – Killarney National Park, Lough Derg and the lower Shannon Estuary – as part of the second phase of a long-term wildlife project aimed at restoring a population of the eagle species in Ireland.

Mr Martin said: “I have been following this project for a number of years and watching the eagles soar into the skies will be a memory for a long time.

“It’s wonderful to see the development since the first introduction of chicks a few years ago.

“These white-tailed eagles are magnificent birds that will play key roles in a functioning ecosystem.”

Mr Martin added that the project underscores Ireland’s commitment to the implementation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

“I am particularly grateful to the Norwegian authorities and colleagues for their cooperation,” he said.

Once a prominent feature of Ireland’s natural landscape, the birds have been driven to extinction on the island by human persecution.

The return of this lost species is a significant step towards restoring the country’s natural heritage and biodiversity.

It also has the potential to make a significant contribution to the rural economy through ecotourism opportunities.

In the first phase of the reintroduction program, 100 young white-tailed eagles were released in Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry.

As in previous years, the young eagles in Norway were collected under license by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

All birds have been fitted with satellite tags in Ireland so their progress can be tracked. When fully grown, the chicks will join and reinforce the Irish breeding population that has been established since the program began in 2007.

In the last two years, 31 young eagles from Norway have been released. The additional 16 birds released this year bring the total to 47. The eagles have landed: chicks released to boost their population here

Fry Electronics Team

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