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Thousands help eagles stay in the skies

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By Fiona Reid
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Thousands help eagles stay in the skies

RECORD numbers of people have participated in a project to help protect and grow the golden eagle population in the south of Scotland.

The pioneering South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project this week revealed that over 10,000 volunteers and special project participants, aged between four and 92, have supported the scheme through a wide range of tasks and initiatives. Those taking part include HMP Dumfries and primary schools in the region.

The project team has successfully translocated four golden eagles from the Scottish Highlands to the south of Scotland. The four birds were initially held in special aviaries near Moffat but have now been released and are fending for themselves.

And they say support from volunteers and participants plays a pivotal role in helping the iconic species continue to grow and thrive in the area.

The initiative was set up to address concerns about low numbers of golden eagles locally and partners include RSPB Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates, Scottish Forestry, Scottish Natural Heritage, and the Southern Uplands Partnership. It is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, project partners, Scottish Power Renewables, the Scottish Government and local LEADER Programmes.

Philip Munro, community outreach officer for the project, said: “It is fantastic to see so many people are so passionate about protecting this iconic species in the south of Scotland. We are absolutely delighted with the support, which plays an absolutely vital role in protecting golden eagles. We need to keep building on this so that we can ensure that we can see even more of these magnificent birds across the south of Scotland’s skies for generations to come.”

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