You could be spotting golden eagles on your walks around Snowdonia National Park, North Wales, in the future, if reintroduction programme is successful.
Golden eagles have been extinct in the wild in Wales and England since 1850, but a new study lead by Lancaster University and Wilder Britain gives us hope into welcoming these impressive birds back into the Snowdonian skies very soon.
This exciting conservation project could see Snowdonia National Park home to between six and ten breeding pairs of these spectacular birds of prey. Plans have been discussed to bring in juvenile eagles from Scandinavia and Central Europe as early as Summer 2021 – although this will depend on the licensing criteria being met and approved by Natural Resources Wales.
A concern that locals have is about what these birds will feed on in the area. The staple diet of golden eagles in the UK was red grouse and mountain hares, but as the populations of these in Wales are non-existent, some local farmers are concerned for the welfare of their livestock.
One Snowdonian sheep farmer expressed his concern for his lambs, as they weigh just 10lbs when they are born and a golden eagle is capable of lifting up to 11lbs.
Mr Pugh, who has about 1,600 sheep on his farm in Dinas Mawddwy, Gwynedd, said: “I’m worried because the golden eagle is a predator and hasn’t been here for nearly 200 years. I’m concerned not just for lambs – what about other birds as well?”