Breeding attempts by immature golden eagles is a cause for concern

21 August 2013

Satellite-tracking studies in Scotland have revealed that at least two sub-adult golden eagles attempted to breed this year. The two females were both three years old; the typical breeding age for an adult golden eagle is between 4-6 years. Scottish Natural Heritage has been criticised for suggesting that the breeding attempts could show an ‘upturn’ in the fortunes of golden eagles in Scotland – research has shown that breeding attempts by immature eagles could be an indication of persecution and should be viewed as a warning sign that the population may be in decline. The Scottish Raptor Study Group remains deeply concerned about the unfavourable conservation status of golden eagles in Scotland, and is particularly worried about the on-going persecution of this species on driven grouse moors; this criminal activity remains unchecked and unpunished.