Sea eagles have “a minimal impact on lamb mortality”, according to the results of a study published last week, conducted by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The study monitored lambs in the Gairloch peninsula, Wester Ross, from April to mid-August last year. Using radio tracking, drawing on the experiences of shepherds and compiling fieldworker observations and examination of debris in nests, the study found that sea birds, such as fulmar, were the main source of food for the eagles.

Scotland’s environment minister Roseanna Cunningham said: “We recognise that farmers are rightly concerned about their livestock and it is important we develop our knowledge and understanding of this issue. Where there are problems with sea eagles predating livestock we will look at maintaining and improving schemes to find ways to help farmers manage their stock to co-exist with these birds.”

The rest of this article appears in 19th May issue of Shooting Times.

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