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An eagle release at Lough Derg Valerie O'Sullivan
Biodiversity

24 white-tailed eagle chicks released in Ireland this month

The birds are predators who play an important role in nature and the ecosystem.

24 WHITE-TAILED eagle chicks have been released in locations around Ireland this week as part of a long term reintroduction programme managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

This brings the total of white-tailed eagles that have been collected in Norway and released in Ireland to 171.

The birds are predators who play an important role in nature and the ecosystem.

A small, established population of eagles is now fledging chicks around the country and has even produced triplets.

A satellite tagging system has been put in place so that the birds can be monitored as they travel.

NPWS Eagle Release Lough Derg3 White-tailed eagle Valerie O'Sullivan Valerie O'Sullivan

In August, eagle releases took place at Lough Derg, the Shannon Estuary and locations around the west of Ireland.

Once native to Ireland, these eagles became extinct in the nineteenth century. Since 2007, the NPWS has been working with partners in Norway, along with farmers and communities around the country, to reintroduce the species.

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, who released four chicks at Killarney National Park as part of the programme, said it was a result of 16 years’ work and collaboration, “not just on the reintroduction programme, but also on habitat restoration and engagement with landowners to secure their ongoing protection”.

“These apex predators perform a vital role in our ecosystems and the sight of them soaring in the thermals is a privilege that everyone who lives in or visits Ireland will now have the opportunity to enjoy.”

Bente Lyngstad, chargé d’affaires at the Norwegian Embassy in Ireland said: “Watching the release of the white-tailed sea eagles is a truly extraordinary and mighty experience. 

“Today’s stock in Ireland is the result of a long-term collaboration between Norway and Ireland, which again stems from our deep friendship and our shared values.”

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