Rare eagle reintroduced to Ireland

Thursday 16 August 2007 22.05
White-tailed Eagle - Plans for repopulation of coastal areas
White-tailed Eagle - Plans for repopulation of coastal areas

An eagle that disappeared from Ireland more than 100 years ago took flight again today as part of a scheme to reintroduce native birds of prey to the country.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley released six young White-tailed Eagles, one of the world's largest birds of prey, into Killarney National Park in Kerry.

Mr Gormley said: 'These eagles had pride of place in the cultural and natural heritage of Ireland for hundreds of years but due to trapping and shooting in the 19th and early 20th centuries they became extinct.'

Their reintroduction is part of Ireland's obligation under the UN convention on biological diversity.

The eagle chicks came from Norway and were flown into Kerry in June.

Some 15 chicks will be brought into the region annually over the next five years as part of the reintroduction.