Wight White-tails?

Press release from Roy Dennis Foundation and Forestry Commission England:

White-tailed Eagle.  Photo: Mike Crutch

Invitation to White-tailed Eagle public meetings

Members of the public are being invited to three public meetings to be held on the Isle of Wight on 12th and 13th November to find out more about a proposed project aiming to restore the magnificent White-tailed Eagle to the area.

White-tailed Eagles were once widespread along the whole of the South Coast, from Cornwall to Kent, before being driven to extinction by relentless persecution. The last pair bred on Culver Cliff on the Isle of Wight in 1780.

The Forestry Commission and Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation, with other partners, hope to undertake a White-tailed Eagle reintroduction project in the south of England and have identified the Isle of Wight as a potential release area due to its proximity to rich foraging areas in the Solent and as a strategic location on the South Coast. The project would involve the release of small number of Scottish White-tailed Eagles at a confidential site on the Isle of Wight over a five year period. Evidence from Scotland, where the species has been successfully reintroduced, indicates that these birds would remain to breed in the area once they are four-five years old. Restoring a population of White-Eagles on the South Coast would help to link populations in Scotland and Ireland with those in the Netherlands and France, and is part of wider international efforts to help the species.    

Roy Dennis, who is one of the world’s leading experts on White-tailed Eagle reintroductions having pioneered the work in Scotland, and who spent a great deal of time on the Isle of Wight as a teenager said, “We believe that the Isle of Wight and wider Solent area is highly suitable for White-tailed Eagles. It is the last known breeding site of the species in southern England.  The Solent and surrounding estuaries will provide a rich food supply, there are numerous potential nesting sites in woods and cliffs, and also good loafing areas for young birds. Evidence from the Netherlands, where there is a small but growing population of White-tailed Eagles, indicates that the birds will do very well in this landscape. We are keen to consult the local community, landowners and other stakeholders to encourage support and involvement in the project, and to identify and resolve any concerns.’.

The public drop-in sessions will be held at three locations across the island, as follows:

Mon 12th November: 6-8pm at YMCA Winchester House, Shanklin;

Tues 13th November: 11am – 1pm at 5th Ryde Scout Group Hall, Ryde; and 6-8pm at Cowes Yacht Haven, Cowes.

Members of the public can arrive at any time during the drop-in sessions, and the project team will be present to answer questions and to discuss the proposals. There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback via an online questionnaire.  

In addition to the conservation benefits, it is thought that the project would give a significant boost to the Isle of Wight economy, including in winter. In Scotland eagle tourism is extremely popular and recent reports have shown White-tailed Eagles generate up to £5 million to the economy of the Isle of Mull each year, and £2.4 million to the Isle of Skye.

For more information about the project please visit http://www.roydennis.org/isleofwight/ which includes a comprehensive frequently asked questions section. 



67 Replies to “Wight White-tails?”

  1. As a member and supporter of the Roy Dennis,s Wildlife Foundation I think this proposal is an absolutely brilliant idea /scheme. I know the Isle of Wight very well indeed having spent many periods of time there. I am sure it would a great area for the sea eagle as it is important to realise that the sea eagle is a bird of estuaries, coasts and wetlands no matter where these habitats occur. I shall be going to one of the consultation meetings to strongly support the project.

  2. Excellent idea. Nice to see feasibility studies and consultation underway. I wonder why such detailed planning never goes into the introduction of non-native species such as pheasants?

  3. This is tremendous news, it was such a shame the proposed WTE reintroduction in East Anglia fell through. I remember at the time Robin Page claiming that there were no historical records of Sea eagles there – as if there would be an invisible force field that stopped a bird that once lived across Europe from flying over the broads. Such is the lunacy of the nay sayers. There’s a movement to get both golden and sea eagles back to Wales too. If the children in this area get the chance to have a say and in anyway participate in the reintroduction then I don’t think the ‘grown ups’ will be able to stop it.

    1. A WTE successfully penetrated the defences at Weybourne on Monday (29/10) and got as far as Norwich. It was last reported heading NE from there.

    2. I would love WTE to be reintroduced back to Shetland. Since I was shown a map which had a ernie nest site just down the voe from me marked I have been imagining seeing them soaring in the distance. Now they have naturally retuned to Orkney I think it would make much sense to help them establish. It is great to hear of such high demand.

  4. Naturally, as a birdwatcher, a native of Southampton and one whose paternal line runs seven or eight generations deep on the Isle of Wight I welcome this news. However, to claim that “White-tailed Eagles were once widespread along the whole of the South Coast of England, from Cornwall to Kent” at least in historical times seems to me to be overstretching the available evidence. Poyser’s “Birds in England” tells me only that they may have bred in Devon (citing three possible sites) and quotes Penhallruick as saying there’s “no tradition of nesting in Cornwall”. In this context and that of the species becoming extinct in the Lake District by the end of the 18th century, the claim that they nested on the on Culver Cliff on the Isle of Wight in 1780 seems highly unlikely. Mistaken identity cannot I feel be casually ruled out. Mentions elsewhere in Saxon poetry fail to distinguish (like archaeological remains) between breeding and wintering/passage birds and may even have been symbolic as much as reflecting reality. That’s not to say that they may not have nested in the area in late Roman or early Medieval times but hard evidence that they did so simply doesn’t seem to be there. Does this, though, really matter for anyone other than pedants like me? If there’s the habitat for such a magnificent bird and its introduction will cause no real harm then why not? Perhaps it’s time for the habitual dissenters here to come out of the closet and tell us why it shouldn’t be done.

  5. WTE is a bird that is doing ok in the north of Britain though its rate of increase and spread to new areas are unfortunately constrained by continued illegal persecution. What a great idea to help secure its conservation status by reintroducing it to southern England. No doubt some birds will roam and be killed by persecution but enough will hopefully survive to allow it to re-establish a breeding population in the south. Of course there should be no slackening of efforts to tackle the ongoing illegal persecution in its existing range.

    1. The island is very safe – we don’t get raptor persecution here, so always a secure ‘source’ population.

  6. Prof. Alistair Driver tweets that this initiative is strongly supported by SoS. Who are they. Do you know?

    1. Richard – you had me worried there! SoS could mean Save our Songbirds but (having checked the tweet) it refers, in this case, to the Secretary of State aka Michael Gove.

  7. Brilliant idea! Sea swimming off Castle Haven at St Catherine’s Point will take on a whole new dimension if WTE nest on Gore Cliff or the Undercliff above St Lawrence. Sadly, I doubt the various intensive pheasant shoots on IoW will be so enthusiastic?

    1. I think the pheasant shooters can be quietly persuaded, James! We have a thriving buzzard population, after all.

  8. Given the panic caused in some quarters (Richard Ingrams for example) by Red Kites I look forward to the dire warnings of doom that will undoubtedly emanate from the Daily Mail and other such sources at the idea of WTE in the genteel south of England: toddlers carried away from beaches in front of the very eyes of their despairing parents and such like!

  9. As an Isle of Wight birder I thoroughly support this proposal. The island has few (if any) incidents of bird of prey persecution. Farming land owners are almost universally pro-wildlife (although we have lost corn buntings and lapwings as nesting species). Reaction from islanders on social media has been very positive so far. I reckon they’ll thrive, and ‘quickly’ provide a secure ‘source’ population that’ll colonise Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset and beyond. I very much hope as many people here will lend their support as vocally as possible – we need to make this happen.

  10. This is great news let’s hope that the detractors will fail in any attempt to scupper it. There will no doubt be claims that they will take cats ( hooray if they are feral!), dogs, lambs, outdoor poultry and piglets, along possibly with that resurrected nonsense promulgated by the SGA and others that children will be at risk. Most lambs are taken as carrion and no doubt so will piglets. WTE is a fantastic bird that was once the commonest and most widespread eagle in the UK. It has colonised highly populated Denmark and the Netherlands as well as being reasonably widespread in Germany and Poland. So it should fit in here admirably, restoration of what we once had, lynx next?

  11. Great news! Yet more fantastic work by Roy Dennis and colleagues. What with Ospreys at Poole Harbour, this stretch of coast could, with luck, become a real hotspot for seeing impressive birds.
    At the risk of sounding like I’m never satisfied with anything, could I just repeat the comment made by Chris Packham on the Lush discussion after the Walk for Wildlife, which went something like: why so tentative? Why not Ospreys at Langstone and Chichester Harbours, Carrick Roads and all the other eminently suitable places? And why does it all take so long? And why not more White Storks in lots of places (assuming they haven’t raised the birth rate at Knepp to unacceptable levels)?
    There will always be opposition from the usual quarters, but we just have to get on with things and let people see wildlife that actually excites and inspires them.

    1. I’d like to see cirl buntings in Purbeck or on the Isle of Wight, from which they can spread along the south coast, which they can’t do from Cornwall. Why on earth Mark favoured a Cornish cirl bunting reintroduction when he was at the RSPB, I’ll never know! It’s got us no further forward, and now the funds and attention have vaporised!

        1. It is, and that UK BAP (and RSPB) mid-term target of ‘Establishing a second population on the English south coast away from Devon through translocation’ still hasn’t been achieved sadly. I might be wrong, but given that cirl buntings tend not to disperse more than a kilometre from their natal site, and have shown minimal range expansion so far, it could be decades before they reach southern England east of Portland.

          Dennis: Portland has had a few cirl bunting records over the years, and along the Fleet, too.

  12. Funny for the first time ever I agree with most of the comments in here . Here on Mull we are constantly told how lucky we are to have sea eagles and what a great benefit they are so it would be churlish not to share our good fortune . I wish Roy and his team every success and hope they have more luck than the last time when the powers that be bottled it . With the population in Ireland eastablished and populations in Europe it would help fill in the blanks . If donor stock can be collected from Mull that would also be a bonus as we have plenty of them and my worry is they are starting on impact on our golden eagle population .

  13. Having holidayed several times on Mull and mixed with lots of birders and others who watched animals difficult to see other places and heard people rave about the scenery some of the facts will get exagerated and some problems glossed over and I guess it will be upto the IOW residents whether this scheme gets off the ground
    Before everybody goes overboard about this they need to take stock of certain things.
    Very doubtful the £5 million attributed to WTE presence on Mull is anywhere near accurate as there are at least three other things people go to Mull for
    Golden Eagles
    Also something that needs to be looked at is the fact that some of Mull eagles are far from just fish eaters and they eat lots of local seabirds plus there are lots of Deer gutted on Mull and that is left for them plus all Sheep owners seem able to leave dead ones out for them and that is very unlikely to happen on IOW as I think that would be illegal.It is definitely not as simple as everyone seems to think.
    Hants did have a WTE for a while but he/she obviously did not fancy it.

    1. Yet WTE seems are increasing wherever conservation efforts are made for them. In some respects these lands and waters will be richer than the Scottish ones. I’d be surprised if none of the local fishing boats throw a bit of by catch out specifically for the eagles as they do in Scotland. I suspect they’ll do well and if we don’t chances, even good chances, where will that get us?

    2. “It is definitely not as simple as everyone seems to think.”

      I am sure you are correct Dennis that the project will not necessarily be easy to pull off, not least from the point of view of persuading the naysayers to let it proceed. Having said that, Roy Dennis and his foundation have a wealth of experience with raptor reintroductions going right back to the first White-tailed Eagle reintroductions, and I am sure that they, if anyone, will have a realistic view of the probability of success and of the hurdles they will need to overcome in order to succeed. They clearly believe that a successful reintroduction on the IOW is feasible.

      As Les suggests – nothing ventured nothing gained. Let’s take the chance!

    3. I have always questioned the cash figures claimed for the sea eagles as you rightly point out we have several other wildlife attractions and not sure how you sort out what value to put on one species . The Mull sea eagles are a cash cow for the RSPB who run eagle hides and a few tour boats that chuck air injected fish at them to get them in close . They are an ideal tourist bird given they dont seem to have any great fear of man which is probably why it was possible to wipe them out in the first place . Getting a good look at a golden eagle is a greater challenge and now seems to be a more important tick for visiting wildlife watchers . At this time of year we get a lot of wandering young sea eagles that pop up in odd places a fair few of them from Skye outer Hebrides so they are easy to spot without getting out of the car .

      1. The hides are not cash cows for the RSPB, any profits go to the local community.
        The boat that throws a few fish to a few eagles is a private enterprise.

  14. A good idea to reintroduce the eagles but don’t underestimate the anti group – it was the anti group in Suffolk and Norfolk and the lack of a robust stance that killed off that proposed introduction.

  15. Here are just a few questions IOW residents deserve answers too.
    What has been the total cost on Mull for compensation to residents and for getting protection for eagles by the back door of calling many farmers etc protectors or something similar.Will IOW get the same amount.
    Will IOW get a resident warden just the same as Mull.
    It will definitely be needed as egg thieves will target them and also without protection there would be many many cases of innocent? people just getting too close to them when nesting and disturbing them when the eggs would get chilled and no chicks resulting.
    Would Mull have been successful without resident warden?.I very much doubt it.
    If this happens it will need most of residents on board.

    1. Do you struggle to get yourself out of bed in the morning Dennis, re ‘what’s the point of it all?’ The Ames household must be a right oasis of light and hope in this dark world of ours. I think the much bigger problem is not having something like this that people can get involved in in a rather dreary materialistic age. Give the locals a chance as at Mull to volunteer to help protect the eagles and I’m sure a quite formidable ‘Eagle’s Army’ of them will arise. I know that looking back if as a small boy I had the chance to have any degree of involvement with something like this it would have been the defining and most wonderful part of my childhood. I’m dead jealous of the kids on the IoW because of that, but wouldn’t want them to miss out on this for the world. Looking on the bright side no crofters on the IoW with a cultural tendency to be the eternally put upon by any change in the status quo requiring attention, sympathy and compensation from the rest of us. One person rather high within the crofting community up here claimed that sheep farming on our west coast was now uneconomic due to sea eagles – as far as I was aware the whole thing was uneconomic and propped up by public subsidy – will they be wanting more of it now I wonder? Hopefully there’ll be far less of that shite to contend with on the south coast too, a not inconsiderable benefit.

      1. Les,go back to bed and get out a better side.My guess is the Mull crofters/farmers are richest in world.Those volunteers you talk about do it for the money

        1. I wonder which of the two of us a jury would find the Victor Meldrew Dennis? Re crofters on Mull they would have to be very well off indeed to be richer than the ones I had dealings with on Lewis – way past time the whole country got a chance to find out what conditions are really like for crofters than having that dictated to them by vested interests. When I was on Mull I had some dealings with people in the Mull and Iona Community Trust and found them to be excellent, predominantly incomers as I remember. I believe they had a significant input into the voluntary efforts securing the future of the sea eagle on the island. Have you got any evidence the volunteers do it for the money or is this just another example of people who do good things getting smeared by jealous people who don’t?

          1. Les,Mull people have always been excellent to me so no way am I jealous
            Lots of Mull residents have enjoyed financial benefits under a scheme which is really a cover up to have little prejudice against WTE.It is really to compensate for any losses that may occur,surely with all your investigating skill you have seen the evidence..
            You seem to have taken a nasty dislike to things I have said
            Let me point out my points have been
            The residents of IOW should have the right to decide whether a bird not seen since at least 1780? Should be reintroduced
            If reintroduced they should have the same amount of money thrown to them as Mull has enjoyed and the birds need a full time warden based on IOW.
            What is wrong with that
            By the way Ames household was out of bed for 50 years at 5.30 AM which makes a mockery of your previous snide remark

    2. Well done for asking a few good questions and at least the good people of the IOW are getting consulted on the project unlike the residents of Mull . I suspect the IOW will get a warden as not like the RSPB to pass up the chance to rattle a tin and raise some cash . With regards to nest protection it has to be handled correctly and if the birds decide to nest in a stupid location perhaps the powers that be should intervene and move them on rather than store up future problems . A large part of the hostility to the sea eagle and the RSPB on Mull stemmed from the outright lies told by that organisation and the contempt shown to those who were saddled with a nest in the early years . Lessons can also be learned from the earlier attempt to introduce a Southern population of SEs as from an outside point of view it did not look like those involved put much effort into it .

      1. The eagles were release on Rum, so the community on Mull were not specifically consulted.
        Likewise if the eagles released on the IOW dont nest there but instead nest in Deven the community there won’t have been consulted.

        1. That is one extra big problem.
          That area have several great birds becoming numerous at the moment and is the only area with numbers of these species that would be at risk
          Great white Egrets
          Cattle Egrets
          Do raptor lovers care about the risk to these

          1. Dennis, all the above flourish in countries with larger, more varied raptors than we have.

            In Scotland where white-tailed eagles have recolonised there are breeding black & red throated divers, corncrakes, etc, huge seabird colonies in the summer, important goose feeding & roosting areas in a winter. What’s more they have coexisted for tens of thousands of years (WtE have only been absent for a tiny portion of that time).

        2. The point I was trying to make is if you want to have a reintroduction project it is better to take the local community with you . Once the sea eagles had decided to nest on Mull the RSPB failed to do this and caused a lot of friction with a poor attitude .

          1. Dave,not a valid comparison.
            All those birds you mention are well established numbers
            Those I have mentioned plus Spoonbills are all in very small numbers often about 40 all trying to establish new areas without much help unlike the WTE which has enjoyed protection that those I mention have no chance of getting
            Remember how bad each loss of WTE was when they were low numbers and they have probably had 35 years establishing a decent population
            There is another problem as well possibly
            There is a effort to establish a breeding population of Ospreys within a hours distance as the Eagle fly’s or 40 miles and there is suspicion Eagles would not allow that
            Do any Ospreys breed on Mull or indeed I wonder if on Scottish mainland do WTE and Ospeys reside in same area.

    3. Dennis: as an Isle of Wight resident I can assure you we have many questions and have received many good answers! We’re dead keen on this.

      1. Steve,I am actually a fan of WTE and story too long too go into but we have spent many weeks on Mull and been treated really well especially by Dave the warden and firstly by a lady who looked after the hide for forestry commission when I believe the RSPB were not that involved with the hide.
        I would however prefer them to spread naturally and there are doubts about lambs as I believe there was a study into it by scientists? I would think as they are usually involved and think they said when 8 pairs were on Mull it was expected they would take 33 to 37 lambs.
        Any way it is there on the internet but I only scanned through it but supporters obviously massage figures as the amouunt Mull benefits from in a report is just over £1.5 million although they claim £5 million.
        If WTE do not take live lambs it seems strange that I saw where up to 2009 27 crofters were paid £120,000.I would say it was crazy to pay out if WTE were innocent.
        I do not know if it happened but I understand there was talk of giving farmers close to nests £5,000 to protect flocks from predation.Obviously there are many concerns.
        My concerns are as previouly stated and for sure those of us living along the coastal counties would soon be just as affected as IOW residents.These young WTE travell long distances especially until setting up their own territory.

      2. Speak for yourself Steve. I live on the Isle Of Wight and think it is an utterly ridiculous thing to do. We have so many species struggling to live and now they want to reintroduce another competitor. Why not help struggling animals such as hedgehogs or dormice, great crested newts etc.?

  16. I think it was very brave of you, Dennis, to raise a few queries in the face of the unalloyed joy that seems to have greeted this proposal. I fully understand why it sounds very exciting but I do hope that the agencies tasked with assessing the potential impacts on Solent ecosystems have ‘cool heads’.

    1. Now is the time to ask the hard questions before a bird is moved . If a few more questions had been asked before the reintroduction of golden eagles to the West of Ireland a lot of eagle chicks could have been spared a messy end . Sea eagles will feed on what is the easiest food source so if a field of lambs is right under its nose that is what it will take . They are very adaptable as shown by how ready they are to come to tour boats for fish thrown into the water injected with air to make sure they float . They take a lot of carrion outside of the breeding season but given the current fallen stock rules not sure how much of that will be available .

      1. Statistics show that if the golden eagles reintroduced to Ireland had been left to fledge naturally from Scotland a lot of them would have met a messy end on the local driven grouse moors.

        1. A strange comment . You argue it was OK to dump some eagles into an area that would struggle to support them because the grouse moors could have killed them anyway . Perhaps it would have been better to move them to an area that could support them if you are that concerned for their welfare .

          1. Not a strange comment David, a considered & factual one. Donegal had been identified by recognised eagle/raptor experts as suitable location and despite inadvertent poisoning by sheep farmers a small breeding population as been established. The use of poison (which was targeted at foxes) is now banned in Ireland and the farmers are acting more responsibly.

          2. Funny talking to one of the raptor experts involved in the Irish eagle project last year he conceded it was a failure and to save it would require a lot more eagle chicks in the future . The golden eagle trust has lots of pictures of Irish red kites and sea eagles but has quietly swept the golden eagle project under the carpet . I would have hoped that those behind the project were aware that it was legal to use poisoned baits for fox control in the area before they dumped a pile of inexperienced chicks and if not they should have been .

      2. David – we have tonnes of mullet in the waters around the Isle of Wight! That’s an easy food source.

  17. Well I see all the Mull experts are coming out of the woodwork and why crofters are being singled out for special treatment is a bit of a mystery. Crofting on the island takes place mainly on the Ross of Mull where at the last count there is only one breeding pair of sea eagles . The main problem area for lamb predation was central Mull where the SEs first nested and on a few farms it is still a problem . Funny it is the crofting areas of the West coast that contain a majority of the species that the various conservation bodies get excited about corncrakes ,hen harriers etc and they survived here because of what generations of crofters and farmers have done not in spite of it . Volunteers on Mull do not get a salary just like others that work for wildlife trusts etc but Mull has a full time RSPB man for sea eagles and several seasonal workers that do the eagle tours and are funded by a combination of RSPB, FC Scotland and the community trust . Mull eagle watch has just picked up another award at a bash in Inverness but be in no doubt it is a tourism buisness and has very little to do with looking after wildlife .

    1. David, regarding your further comments on the Irish Golden Eagle reintroduction, the birds were very carefully released. The only dumping was food for them to aid their survival. The project team were aware of the risk of poison and flagged up the issue with the farming community who sadly initially didn’t believe they would harm the birds. Were ever there’s is a reintroduction there are bound to be risks and that doesn’t just apply to raptors. The IOW & neighbouring mainland will not be free from risks. Rail tracks, power lines and wind turbines have all been fatal to eagles in Scotland and elsewhere around the world. There are currently 3 breeding pairs in the area plus unpaired individuals. Not by any means a stronghold but by no means a failure either. It’s the nucleus of a new population and an important extension of the species of range. Given the reinforcement of Golden Eagles to southern Scotland over the next few years, there is the potential for suitable areas in the whole north of the island of Ireland to be repopulated. Having released birds frequent this area it may well encourage naturally fledged ones from Arran, Kintyre & Islay to colonies too.

      I don’t understand why you have such negative opinions

      1. My negative opinions are based on the poor survival rate of the released chicks and reports that there was not enough prey in the release area to support the birds . Once it was clear the project was not working all the great and the good that were keen to be seen to be part of the project vanished and it is almost as if the project never happened . At the time of the project one argument was that birds would not fly to Ireland from Scotland which is rubbish given at least one bird did the flight in reverse. When one of those behind the project deems it to be a failure unless more chicks are released I will go with his opinion. If it gives you comfort to blame the failure on the farming community in Ireland and to justify the project because the grouse shooters may have killed the chicks if they had not been “saved ” by taking them to Ireland it says more about your mindset than the project . During the period of the project the golden eagle population in Scotland increased despit e the removal of over fifty chicks

  18. David, if a sheep farmer lays out poison which kills a Golden Eagle who would you blame, the Postman, the Midwife, Christiano Ronaldo?

    I completely agree on your last sentence and more over the latest survey (2015) finds they have increased further, except, an it’s a big EXCEPTION, on the extensive, intensively managed drive grouse moors in the east & south. If the criminals operating there were to cease their barbaric & warped campaign it may be possible for eagles and other raptors to extend their ranges naturally.

    1. So the eagles that starved to death were the fault of the farmers because ….. in your own time no hurry . If those that set up the project can accept they got it wrong what is your problem ?

      1. You try to claim the Irish eagles didn’t have enough food, yet you say not enough were released & that it will only be a success if more are released. Where’s the logic in that!!!
        You repeatedly dodge the fact that many of the Irish eagles were poisoned.
        You claimed that the Mull hides were a cash cow for the rspb when in truth all the profits went to the local community.
        You claim the boats throwing fish to the Mull eagles was a cash cow for the rspb, yet the truth is its a completely private enterprise.

        Keep digging David, you’ll soon be through to Australia!

        1. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/golden-eagles-and-ireland-s-uplands-crisis-1.2489767 I am not sure if you are just being a troll or just not that clever . In the link above Lorcan O Toole states that neither persecution nor accidental poisoning was an issue since the first 50 eagle chicks were released in 2001 . He also states that the release area was not producing enough prey for the eagles to feed their chicks adequately . It was one of those involved in the project that claimed not enough chicks had been releases and pointed out that the population that did survive was not large enough to be viable given the poor breeding success . I am sure the profits from the sale of over 9,500 pin badges this year will go to the local community . Aye right . The founder of the golden eagle trust and one of the raptor experts that sourced chicks think the reintroduction has failed but you know better . My money is on the experts sorry .

          1. Wow David, I’d never considered pin badges, blow me over with a feather duster, that means with the proceeds they’d be able buy the remaining Amazon rain forest, the Okovango and the Okefenokee. Then with the remain profit they’d have to make a tough decision wether to buy Balmoral or Sandringham!

          2. Oh well no comment on Lorcan O Toole the man behind the Golden Eagle Trust and his opinion that the reintroduction has failed as there is not enough prey to sustain a breeding population of golden eagles in the West of Ireland but you focus on the pin badges . You are just another in a long line of trolls on sites like this that engage your mouth while your brain is still in neutral and have no facts to back up what you say . I am done with you are as you are not serious so nighty night and watch you dont fall off the edge of the flat earth you think you live on .

  19. Well, as an IoWight resident and having spoken to a lot of others here on the island, I’m glad we have cooler heads than some of the commentators above! Roy et al. has already spoken with some key islanders; debates about the proposal on island social media have so far, in large part, been highly supportive. We have an awful lot of fish and not many sheep (and, besides, having searched the internet pretty extensively, I’ve struggled to find evidence that live lamb predation is a ‘thing’, but have seen footage of eagles feasting on carrion). Let’s see how islanders actually respond, what genuine concerns emerge, and see if these can be addressed – and go from there.

    1. David, I don’t have any issue with Lorcon O’Tool or anyone else, but I have with your serial unfounded comments. There were no dumped eagles, they were carefully released with a constant supply of food so they did not starve. There would be more of them if many did not get poisoned, to which point I was careful to point out that as far as anyone is aware they were not targeted. You repeatedly claim that the hides on Mull were a cash cow for the rspb, they clearly are not. You claim that a boat throwing fish to the eagles off Mull was a cash cow for the rspb, it clearly was not. You may have grievances with someone or some organisation but should stick to the facts when being critical. You may, in your words “have done with me” but I’ll certainly be monitoring subsequent posts.

  20. I think this reintroduction to the Island is a ridiculous and ill thought out scheme. This is not Scotland and the wildlife we have in the overpopulated South is under so much pressure from us already we should be trying to encourage what is becoming scarcer, rather than adding another preditor to the list. I am surprised there are all positive comments on here, when I have spoken to several people who are also not in favour of this, I will be interested to see if my comments appear here.

  21. White Tailed Eagle introduction to Isle of Wight.
    Why Introduction. There is absolutely NO evidence that they nested on Culver Cliffs. The story is a fabrication based upon wishful thinking. Do Your research! Like I have
    The WTE did not bring £5 million to the Isle of Sky. The £5 million that the RSPB boast about was actually because the ferry company reduced their ferry fees nothing to do with the WTE. Do Your research!
    They are not at risk so there is no conservation reason for turning these beautiful creature into a circus turn.
    This introduction is cruel. The habitat does not exist.
    By the way I an an ardent conservatinist. I have invested £300,000 pounds of my own money to develop a nature reserve and wildlife education centre on the Isle of Wight. I am also a pragmastist.

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