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Investigation launched after five eagles found dead in Western Isles

An investigation has been launched after five eagles were found dead in the Western Isles.

Two golden eagles were discovered dead two miles south of Bragar on Lewis on August 14.

Just a week earlier, two golden eagles and a white-tailed sea eagle were found near Bowglass on Harris.

The birds found on August 7 were significantly decomposed and post-mortems will be carried out.

Although the eagles were discovered in similar circumstances, the two incidents are not being treated as linked.

Inspector Jane MacKenzie said: “At around 1.25pm on Saturday August 14, 2021, officers received a report that two golden eagles had been found dead two miles south of Bragar on the Isle of Lewis. Inquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.

“Eagles are protected birds of prey and Police Scotland will always investigate reports of these birds being found dead. It can be highly complex, requiring detailed scientific work, but we will always strive to bring anyone responsible for this type of wildlife crime to justice.”

Eagles are often spotted in the north due to the climate and breeding grounds, but are on the Birds of Conservation Concern’s amber list.

The Outer Hebrides is a stronghold for golden eagles, with the open and rugged terrain providing a perfect habitat. There are about 90 breeding pairs in the islands – a fifth of the Scottish population.

Earlier this week, three golden eagle chicks were tagged as part of a project by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and NatureScot.

Chicks at three estates, including two in Strathspey, have been fitted with Celltrack tags so that their movements can be tracked in real-time to give experts a better insight into their lives.

Anyone with information about the dead eagles should call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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