Search launched for rare golden eagle missing in Perthshire

Searches are under way in Perthshire in a bid to find a rare golden eagle that has gone missing near Loch Tay.

Fears have been raised over the fate of the eagle, which was fitted with a satellite tag, after it vanished in an area identified as a persecution ‘hotspot‘ for birds of prey.

A police investigation was launched after the tracking device stopped transmitting on 18 May, with the bird’s last known location on moorlands in the Strathbraan area of Perthshire.

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The bird’s disappearance adds to a long line of similar incidents, with more than 50 tagged golden eagles being lost across Scotland between 2004 and 2016.

Police are investigating after a satellite-tagged golden eagle was reported missing in an area of Perthshire identified as a 'hotspot' for persecution of birds of prey

Now farmers, gamekeepers, shepherds and local people have joined searches for the latest missing bird, which was believed to have been roosting near Loch Tay.

Independent bird monitors operating in the area have said eagles were recorded in the vicinity later in the day after the last communication from the tracked bird but it’s not known if the missing bird was among them.

Anyone with information that could help determine the eagle’s fate has been asked to come forward.

“Local estates have been actively involved in efforts to find the golden eagle which had been roosting in the area and was seen in the vicinity around mid-May,” said Tim Baynes, moorland director for membership organisation Scottish Land & Estates.

Gamekeepers, farmers and locals have joined searches for the missing golden eagle, whose last known location was in the Strathbraan area of Perthshire

“Raptors are a common sight in the area, particularly buzzards, but also hen harriers and golden eagles.

“It is important to all of us that we establish what has happened to this young bird.

“We realise that when a tag stops transmitting there will be speculation as to whether it has died or has been killed.

“However, as searches have found nothing and eagles were recorded flying in the area shortly after the tag stopped transmitting and thereafter, this bird could well be still flying around with a malfunctioning tag.

“What we know at this stage is a tag stopped working and we are appealing for anyone who may have any information to contact Police Scotland.”

A spokesman for conservation charity RSPB Scotland said: “This is an active and ongoing police enquiry and it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.”

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