A project to help farmers and crofters deal with the impact of sea eagles on their livestock will continue for the next three years.
The White-tailed Eagle Action Plan was launched in 2015 by a group of stakeholders including the government’s nature agency NatureScot, NFU Scotland, the Scottish Crofting Federation and wildlife charity RSPB Scotland.
NatureScot said the project, which included working with farmers and crofters to test different management techniques and develop measures to reduce the impact of sea eagles on hill sheep flocks, had delivered mixed results.
There were few observations of sea eagle interactions with sheep, but NatureScot said a “significant body of circumstantial evidence” pointed to sea eagles having a significant impact on some farm businesses.
It said the scheme will continue for the next three years and new ideas on improving habitat to support natural prey species will be explored, as well as licensed activities to reduce serious agricultural damage where all other options have been unsuccessful.
“We recognise the serious concerns that some farmers and crofters have about the impact of sea eagles on their livestock, and we’re committed to continue working closely with them to find solutions,” said NatureScot policy and operations manager, Rae McKenzie.
“The scheme is about finding a balance between livestock farming and wildlife.”