Following a press release issued today by RSPB Scotland about missing satellite tagged golden eagles, the Scottish Moorland Group has issued the following statement.
Tim Baynes, Director of the Scottish Moorland Group said: “Our organisation is an enthusiastic member of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime and our members are committed to golden eagle conservation across Scotland.
“There is no clear evidence of the golden eagles having even died in the Monadhliath area, let alone having been “persecuted” on grouse moors as RSPB is alleging. It is now over a month since the disappearance of this latest eagle and it would have been in everyone’s interests if the matter had been raised immediately. There are other explanations for satellite tags stopping working and the failure of RSPB to involve land managers in trying to establish the facts is disappointing. Anyone with any information regarding the disappearance of an eagle should contact the police.
“There is a clearly established process within the PAWS partnership – which includes the police - for dealing with instances of disappearing satellite-tagged birds. Where there is not a police investigation, as in these cases, contact should be made with local land managers who are often in the best position to help with information. Regrettably, RSPB has not done this and it is not the first time. RSPB would appear to be more interested in generating anti-shooting publicity on the eve of the grouse shooting season.”