27/07/2020
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White-tailed Eagle found poisoned on grouse moor

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A satellite-tagged White-tailed Eagle has been found poisoned on a grouse moor in the Cairngorms National Park, Police Scotland has confirmed.

The bird was discovered earlier this year and the body was recovered from Donside, Aberdeenshire, in April. A post-mortem has now established it died as a result of pesticide poisoning. The death is being treated as suspicious and an investigation is ongoing – Police Scotland is appealing for information to help identify those responsible.


The poisoned White-tailed Eagle (RSPB / Police Scotland).

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Police Inspector Sheila McDerment, who chairs the North East Partnership Against Wildlife Crime, said: "As well as being illegal, poisoning is a cruel way to kill a bird. It also puts the lives of other creatures and plants at risk and impacts negatively on our environment. This incident is particularly upsetting because these rare and beautiful birds had been re-introduced to Scotland after being extinct throughout the UK.

"Raptor persecution is one of six priorities set by the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit. We work closely with a number of partners to tackle wildlife crime. Members of the public are our eyes and ears. I appeal to anyone out there who may hold any information about this incident to help us bring the offender to justice by coming forward and telling us what they know."

Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland's Head of Investigation, commented: "The news that this bird has been illegally poisoned is appalling. This crime would never have come to light had the bird not been fitted with a satellite tag, and the killing of this young eagle can be added to a litany of raptor persecution incidents in recent years, including previous poisonings and multiple disappearances of similarly-tagged birds of prey. Poisoning is vicious and indiscriminate and we join with Police Scotland in appealing for information."

Please contact Police Scotland on 101 if you have information about this crime, quoting crime reference number CF0160960720. You can also report information anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.