Could golden eagles be on the rise?

A new report suggests Golden Eagles could flourish again in the south of Scotland, given the right environment. The paper, produced by Scottish Natural Heritage, shows that the area could sustain up to 16 breeding pairs of the iconic species.

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Study suggests golden eagles could make their return

A new report has been published suggesting golden eagles could flourish again in the south of Scotland, given the right environment.

The paper, produced by Scottish Natural Heritage, shows that the area could sustain up to 16 breeding pairs of the iconic bird.

At the moment there are just one or two pairs attempting to breed in Galloway, and possibly three pairs in the Borders.

Fiona McIlwraith went to woodland near Moffat to meet one of the experts who compiled the report.

South of Scotland return for iconic golden eagle

One of Scotland's most iconic birds could make a return to the south of the country, according to a new report.

There are currently only one breeding pair of the birds in Dumfries and Galloway, but Scottish Natural Heritage say as many as 16 pairs could breed here is the area is currently managed.

"The whole of the South of Scotland could hold as many as 16 pairs of Golden Eagles, that's if things were perfect for them, which is amazing, it's so exciting that we could have so many birds here."

– Professor Des Thompson from SNH

However, the environment needs to be right before the birds will flourish in the area.

"They need a safe environment first of all so there must be no persecution of these birds, they need open habitat, ideally habitats such as these, wonderful upland areas with open woodland, with lots of prey for the birds.

"They needs trees, rocks such as we've got here to nest in, and of course we don't want them to be disturbed - so we've got this great cocktail of habitats here we've just got to get the management right."

– Professor Des Thompson from SNH

The next step in the project is to improve habitats and conditions for golden eagles and assess where further eagles may come from.

If successful it could mean that in a few years time the south of Scotland becomes a significant breeding ground for these majestic birds of prey.

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Study finds golden eagles could return to the region

A new report suggests golden eagles could flourish again in the south of Scotland, given the right environment.

The paper looked at this particular area of the South of Scotland Credit: ITV Border

The paper, produced by Scottish Natural Heritage, shows that the area could sustain up to 16 breeding pairs of the iconic species.

Up to 16 breeding pairs could inhabit the area Credit: ITV Border

At the moment there are just one or two pairs attempting to breed in Galloway, and one to three pairs in the Borders.

Golden eagles could 'thrive' in Southern Scotland

Golden Eagles could thrive and prosper again in the South of Scotland according to a report.

However, Scottish Natural Heritage has warned that the population will only increase if work is carried out to improve the types of habitat on which the eagles depend.

The study has also raised the possibility of the species returning in large numbers to the north of England.

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