Nature Champions: White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle CC 2.0 Jacob Spinks
White-tailed Eagle CC 2.0 Jacob Spinks 2

The white-tailed eagle, the ‘sea eagle’, has been re-introduced to Scotland since 1975.  The last phase ended in 2015, 99 years after it was originally driven to extinction, when the breeding population reached a landmark 100 pairs.  Despite this huge success, the species remains vulnerable and is only just gaining a foothold in Eastern Scotland.

In much of Europe, white-tailed eagles thrive in close association with humans; yet poisonings and, in one case the felling of an active nest tree, still occur in Scotland, mostly on or in close proximity to intensively managed grouse moors.  These post a very real threat to the species’ long-term status.


Images: Jacob Spinks CC BY 2.0

Action Needed

Work for the removal of threat posed by chronic bird of prey persecution, especially on and around grouse moors.

Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.


Persecution by humans.

MSP Nature Champion

Mark Ruskell

Member for: Mid Scotland and Fife

Region: Mid Scotland and Fife

Party: Scottish Green Party

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