Thursday, 30 July 2009

When will they ever learn?

In July 2007, an experimental project to discover more about the cultural behaviour of Golden Eagles began when an Eagle chick, named 'Alma' by the project, was ringed and fitted with a GPS transmitter. Since then many people have followed Alma's progress on the internet through the website run by legendary conservation trailblazer Roy Dennis - The Highland Foundation for Wildlife
Now, after two years of tracking Alma, followed by thousands of interested people on the internet, Alma has been found dead - poisoned in Glen Esk, Angus. In this single despicable and criminal act, someone, for whatever unknown motive, has destroyed two years' work, the season before Alma was due to mate. This is the second Eagle poisoning in Scotland this year. Some firmly believe that these incidents are the work of rogue gamekeepers, still living in the dark days and determined to preserve the grouse population for the delectation of the wealthy; some that it is the work of farmers who still believe young lambs are the target of this aerial Monarch of the Glen. It is easy for accusations to fly around - but perhaps the very fact that Alma was being tracked will help to narrow down the circumstances sufficiently to point the finger toward the guilty party. The project subsequently ringed two other chicks, Angus and Tom. Sadly, Angus's transmitter failed, but Tom's is still going strong and you can watch his progress on the website. Perhaps some of you may be sufficiently inspired by what the Foundation does to decide to make a donation. I know I will, in memory of Alma. And I will continue to hope that Tayside Police will aprehend the culprit(s) and achieve a successful prosecution.
Where have all the Eagles gone, long time passing
Where have all the Eagles gone, long time ago
Where have all the Eagles gone, Poisoned victims every one
When will they ever learn, When will they ever learn.

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