On Sunday 26th of June, a group of young White-tailed Eagles were transported to Kerry Airport from Norway. The birds will be held in Munster before release in early/mid-August by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) as part of a Phase Two project. The aim of the project is to build on the successful re-establishment of this once extinct species over a three-year period (2020-2022) by releasing young eagles at three sites, including Lough Derg, the lower Shannon estuary and Killarney National Park. To monitor their progress and integration into the existing Irish breeding population the birds will be tagged before release.
Previously, 100 young White-tailed Eagles were released in Killarney National Park in County Kerry which subsequently dispersed widely throughout Ireland. Since then a small breeding population of eight to ten pairs have successfully fledged 26 chicks with an additional six chicks likely to fledge into the wild in Munster in the next few weeks. While this reintroduction was successful a scientific review of the project indicated that the small population is still vulnerable to mortality factors such as illegal poisoning. Therefore, it was decided to carry out this supplementary release in the hope that these new arrivals will strengthen the small existing breeding population in Ireland.