More than 40 golden eagles went missing in Scotland. Photo: Tony Hisgett CC-BY-2.0

More than 40 golden eagles went missing in Scotland. Photo: Tony Hisgett [CC-2.0]

Police have raided a number of properties after a golden eagle was found poisoned on a Deeside estate.

Police Scotland said the body of the raptor was found on a hillside on the Invercauld Estate near Braemar in March this year.

“Subsequent forensic examination confirmed the bird had been illegally and intentionally poisoned,” a spokesperson said.

“Extensive enquiries are being carried out and on Tuesday officers acting under warrant searched a number of properties on the Invercauld Estate. No arrests were made and enquiries are ongoing.”

Detective Constable Daniel Crilley of the wildlife crime unit said: “Poisoning a bird or animal is not only cruel and callous but it can also harm other wildlife.

“Illegal persecution of raptors will not be tolerated. It is one of the six priorities set by the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit and raptor persecution is the current focus of Police Scotland’s year-long campaign, Operation Wingspan.

“We are determined to protect these magnificent birds and here in the North-East, we work closely with a number of partners, such as the RSPB and NatureScot, to tackle wildlife crime, which can be particularly challenging to investigate.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Gary Cunningham, wildlife crime lead for Police Scotland, said: “Scotland’s rich, rare and diverse wildlife and landscapes are among its biggest attractions. We cannot allow the indiscriminate use of poisons and pesticides to threaten our natural heritage.

“Police Scotland, working with our key partners, is committed to protecting our wildlife habitats and to bringing those who seek to destroy or harm it, to justice.”

Ian Thomson, RSPB Scotland’s head of investigations said: “Raptor persecution crimes on grouse moors in this area happen regularly.

“In 2019, a young eagle was photographed caught in a trap less than two miles from here, and in 2016, a line of illegal traps targeting birds of prey was found set across the hill less than three miles away.

“The perpetrators of these crimes don’t just threaten wildlife, but put at risk the reputation of the area and the jobs dependent on the associated tourist industry.”

Officers said members of the public are police’s eyes and ears and anyone with information regarding the matter is asked to call Police Scotland via 101, quoting incident number 2757 of 19 March 2021.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Police seek public’s help after golden eagle found poisoned
  2. Police investigate killing of white-tailed sea eagle poisoned in Strathdon
  3. Police appeal for sightings of missing Cairngorms walker James Robertson
  4. RSPB criticises police decision to caution Yorkshire Dales man who set ‘barbaric’ bird traps
  5. Police appeal to public after three red kites killed near Kirkcudbright