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Next batch of white-tailed eagles set for Irish home

The Norwegian government has signalled the last batch of white-tailed sea eagles will wing their way to Ireland next year.

The next delivery of young eaglets will bring to 100 the number flown over from Scandinavia as part of the bid to reintroduce the majestic birds to Irish landscapes.

Norway's ambassador to Ireland Oyvind Nordsletten said more than 20 eaglets will be captured in his home country next year before being flown to Ireland to be released as part of the conservation programmes.

“We truly hope that will be enough to create a self-sustaining population and the eagles will go on breeding,” said Mr Nordsletten.

Dr Allan Mee, manager of the white-tailed eagle release project in Killarney National Park, said a review would also be carried out next year to see if the population was viable and whether more young eaglets would be needed from Norway.

The success of the projects to introduce golden eagles, the white-tailed sea eagles and red kites had been under threat due to poisonings.

But Mr Nordsletten welcomed the introduction of new Irish laws, announced last week, to halt the number of deaths caused by poison-laced carcasses laid down by a small number of farmers to combat scavengers, such as foxes.

Under the new regulations in the Republic it is an offence to use a bait to poison birds or animals such as otters and pine martens, unless under a specific licence.

Belfast Telegraph