November 24, 2008
Sea Eagles Might Be Re-Introduced To Native England
Conservationists are preparing to bring the sea eagle, the UK's biggest bird of prey, back home to England.
The bird, nicknamed the "flying barn door" due to it's size, may be reintroduced to Norfolk next year if the plan is approved.The government's conservation agency, Natural England, the RSPB and Anglian Water anticipate bringing back the species. It was run out of England 200 years ago and disappeared entirely from the UK by 1918.
The plans emerged after the sea eagle, also called the white-tailed eagle, was released back in Scotland in 1975. There are about 40 breeding pairs in the vicinity, with 34 chicks born last year.
Natural England's leading scientist, Tom Tew, stated that bringing the sea eagle to East Anglia could improve the local economy. Placing a majestic creature back to its natural habitat in the ecosystem is "inspirational" for people.
"They are a magnificent bird and the UK's rarest bird," Tew said. Bringing them back would be inspirational to people and a boost for the local economy brought by eco-tourism. They are also the missing piece in the jigsaw, the top predator which should be in a wetland ecosystem."
He added Norfolk had been evaluated as the best area in England for housing sea eagles, because it had big areas of wetland habitat.
Additionally, with 7,000 pairs of the species worldwide, founding a strong populace in England could also aide global labors to preserve the species, Tew added.
Rob Lucking, RSPB area manager for The Wash and North Norfolk, said that, "The sight of birds of prey like the white-tailed eagle is a sure sign of a strong and healthy environment. Without them our ecosystem is disfigured, our natural and cultural heritage diminished and we are all the poorer."
"A re-introduction must be done properly and with due regard to the people and wildlife nearby but, if it can be done, then the sight of eagles soaring over Norfolk would give a huge lift to people's spirits and to the local economy," Lucking added.
However, the emergence of the birds in Scotland has created troubles, like poisoning episodes and allegations that the birds are taking lambs.
Natural England and the RSPB are now eager to confer with locals and landowners before coming to a decision whether or not to try to reintroduce them somewhere else.
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