Some good news!!
In a time when there are so many animal species being lost from our planet it’s important to celebrate the wins and right now it would seem the Golden Eagle is one such species benefitting from conservation efforts.
They are seriously impressive species with huge talons and wingspans reaching over 7ft. They look as though they ought to be soaring somewhere exotic like the South American Andes or the Himalayas – not in our countryside. And yet, they used to do just that in England as well as Scotland. Now the entire UK population is found in Scotland and the good news is their numbers are moving up, but sadly England’s only remaining Golden Eagle vanished earlier this year.
Golden Eagles are an iconic piece of Scottish heritage in the 19th century, but their numbers have been dramatically reduced from their original level. The use of pesticides prevented breeding, and, as the birds live for up to 25 years, this has had massive repercussions and their numbers have been seriously depleted.
However, the good news is there are now 508 pairs in Scotland – a rise of 15%! Sadly this improvement is not universal across Scotland, but this many pairs has now moved the Golden Eagle from high risk into a ‘favourable conservation status’. Let’s hope numbers continue to rise – preferably soar.
If you fancy seeing these majestic creatures for yourself, the Isle of Skye on the North West coast of Scotland has some of the most reliable viewings of Golden Eagles as there’s a relatively dense population found there. But they can be found amongst the Scottish Highlands too but of course as with a larger area – you may have to hunt just that bit further!