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The white-tailed eagle conservation action plan will help protect the eagles

White-tailed eagle. Photo: Renno Nellis
White-tailed eagle. Photo: Renno Nellis

The Environmental Board's action plan for the conservation of white-tailed eagles for 2020-2024 sets forth the protection of known nesting sites for white-tailed eagles and as the most important protection measure, the securing of a logging ban during the nesting period.

It is also important to continue to compensate the landowners for loss of income, to map the unknown nests up until now and to review the use of lead in hunting, as nearly half of the fallen white-tailed eagles researched have been killed as a result of the lead poisoning.

Nearly 300 pairs of white-tailed eagles are nesting in the coastal areas of Estonia, near large inland waters and rivers. Although the low point in the population meanwhile has been successfully overcome, historically there have been more white-tailed eagles living in the Estonian areas than now. As a result of the implementation of the approved plan, 400 couples of white-tailed eagles should live in Estonia within 15 years.

Under the action plan, it is crucial to reduce the impact of significant risks to the white-tailed eagle population. In Estonia, these include the use of ammunition containing the lead, the scarcity of appropriate trees for nesting, the destruction of the nesting sites and the loss of white-tailed eagles in contact with any power lines, roads and wind farms. Thus, the release of environmental toxins into the wilderness must be reduced and the larger infrastructure, such as a wind farm, must be planned to be sited distant enough away from the habitat of the white-tailed eagle.

The most important conservation measures are the protection of known nesting sites for the white-tailed eagles and the securing of a logging ban during the nesting period. Compensation of landowners for loss of income will be continued and the mapping of nests discovered so far is planned, as the location of nearly a third of the white-tailed eagle nests is unknown.

“We thank all of the landowners on whose land the white-tailed eagle breeds for allowing the nest to survive and allowing the birds to raise their young in peace. The Estonian eagle experts and scientists have done an effective and commendable job in researching the eagles. Via the research on nest cameras, bird-mounted escorts and fallen white-tailed eagles, we have a wealth of useful information on the life of the white-tailed eagles and the causes of their death. We are also grateful to nature lovers who intorm us on the large nesting sites discovered in the forest. Many of them have been the nests of the white-tailed eagle,” explained Marju Erit, the Manager of the Species Protection Bureau of the Environmental Board.

Probably in the coming decades, the white-tailed eagle will reach its optimum number of population, which means that no more white-tailed eagles will no longer fit in Estonia. By this time, the nesting sites appropriate for the white-tailed eagle should be in use and should not be too close to each other, for each specimen needs its own territory to live. When this time comes, a review of the conservation status of the species will be necessary.

More information:
Marju Erit
Manager of the Species Protection Bureau of the Environmental Board
telephone: 5649 6373

Sille Ader
Spokesperson for the Environmental Board
telephone: 5745 0332

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