Scottish Land & Estates statement on missing golden eagles

Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates today issued an appeal for information about two golden eagles which have gone missing in Perthshire.

The two eagles, Adam and Charlie, were wearing satellite tags which stopped working in April this year. Police Scotland conducted a search at Auchnafree Estate in Perthshire on May 23. The estate and its employees have been cleared of any involvement by police.

David Johnstone, chairman, Scottish Land & Estates, said: “The disappearance of two eagles is naturally worrying and we would ask anyone who may have information to contact police immediately.

“The estate, which has also issued an appeal for information, has been home to these eagles for some time. Police Scotland has told the estate they are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

“Finding out what has happened to these eagles is of paramount importance and no effort should be spared in establishing the facts.

“We are, however, concerned that news of the disappearance of these birds has emerged through an anti-grouse shooting website rather than through the agreed Scottish Partnership Against Wildlife Crime communications channels. Yet again, it is stated that a crime has been committed – without evidence to support this claim.

“It is for the police to complete their investigations. If a crime has been committed, then we would condemn that without reservation. In the meantime, we believe that smearing grouse shooting in this way is not justified.

“Again, this underlines the need for greater transparency over the collection and use of satellite tagging data, which is currently controlled by those with an anti-shooting agenda. We wholeheartedly support the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association which has launched a parliamentary petition calling for independent monitoring of satellite tags fitted to birds of prey. This could lead to greater accountability and could assist police in prosecuting potential wildlife crime as well as providing a more transparent record of raptor persecution.”