Wanted: Workers to help with conservation of Scottish golden eagle

South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project manager Cat Barlow holds an eagle chick. (Right image) A full grown eagle. Pictures: South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project.
South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project manager Cat Barlow holds an eagle chick. (Right image) A full grown eagle. Pictures: South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project.
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If your idea of a dream job is protecting one of Scotland’s most majestic animals then look no further.

The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, which aims to boost the numbers of this iconic bird in the Scottish Borders is set to take off.

And organisers are now looking to recruit four high-fliers to get their ambitious programme off the ground.

Over the next five years the team will be collecting eagle chicks from the Highlands and Islands in the summer and raising and releasing them as satellite-tagged juveniles in early autumn.

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The project leaders are seeking new team members to work with local schools, communities, landowners and gamekeepers in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders to help raise awareness, engage and enthuse local people about golden eagles and their conservation needs.

The project, announced last year, has already secured £1.3 million from The Heritage Lottery Fund.

“This is a really exciting time as the project is now starting to happen and we will soon start to see tangible local benefits,” says project manager Cat Barlow.

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“Work will start in earnest next summer, when we will collect a number of golden eagle chicks in the Highlands and Islands and bring them south to be reared and released from an already identified location.

“We’d now like to appoint a number of local officers who can work in the community to build support in advance of the first eagles’ arrival.”

The team plan to recruit two community outreach officers and a part-time stakeholder engagement officer who will work with local landowners and gamekeepers.

They are also seeking a full-time eagle officer to lead the reintroduction programme. The eagle officer post is highly specialised and the team has already been in contact with a number of expert candidates from countries around the world.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “This is good news for nature and good news for communities across the south of Scotland.

“This new funding allows the project to recruit staff and push ahead with its exciting plans.

“We must protect and enhance Scotland’s biodiversity and the new team will be doing exactly that.

“Their work will help secure the future of golden eagles in the south of Scotland and benefit local communities through a range of tourism and educational opportunities.

The project will be headquartered at the Southern Uplands Partnership’s offices in Galashiels and interviews will take place early next year.

For more information visit: www.goldeneaglessouthofscotland.co.uk