Campaigners’ fury as golden eagle vanishes
Broadcaster Chris had been monitoring young bird
A wildlife campaign group which works closely with broadcaster Chris Packham has expressed anger after a one-year-old golden eagle disappeared in suspicious circumstances over a grouse moor in Perthshire.
In a video posted online last week, the Springwatch presenter revealed he had been monitoring the progress of the bird of prey since it hatched at an eyrie in Argyll last year and was fitted with a satellite tracking tag.
Appearing alongside Ruth Tingay of campaign group Raptor Persecution UK, he went on to invite viewers to speculate what might have happened to the bird, called Tom, after its tag “failed catastrophically” over a grouse moor in the Strathbraan area earlier this year.
Packham said after establishing it was “highly unusual” for tags to fail so badly: “I can’t tell you precisely what happened to Tom on May 18 but what I can tell you is that it happened in an area that’s infamous for its raptor persecution.”
Separately Ms Tingay said of the incident on Raptor Persecution UK’s blog: “So far, three of ‘our’ tagged eagles have vanished in suspicious circumstances on or next to driven grouse moors. Now, another one has gone.
“Tom survived for a year, travelling to explore the west, out as far as the Isle of Mull, before making a fateful journey east towards the grouse moors in the spring of this year.
“Tom vanished in the early hours of the morning on a grouse moor in the Strathbraan area of Perthshire, a well-known raptor persecution hotspot, just a few miles north of the area [two others] vanished last year.
“We notified Police Scotland of the sudden loss of tag transmission and they examined the tag data and agreed that the circumstances were indeed suspicious. They undertook a search of the grouse moor but of course didn’t find any evidence – no tag, no carcass, nothing.
“Needless to say we are upset and angry that another golden eagle has gone in virtually identical circumstances to so many others – vanishing without trace on a driven grouse moor in Scotland.”
Tom survived for a year, travelling to explore the west, before making a fateful journey east towards the grouse moors Ruth Tingay