Cairngorms golden eagles fitted with satellite tags
Technology aimed at reducing wildlife crime
Credit: Scottish Natural Heritage
An innovative new type of satellite tag for raptors could make “a real difference” in the fight against wildlife crime, according to the Scottish environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham.
Young golden eagles living around the Cairngorms National Park will be tagged with the new devices as part of an 18-month trial aimed at providing key information on movements and behaviour, as well as illegal killing.
The new raptor tracker tags use the ‘geostationary Iridium’ satellite network to ensure signal information is always available, while they can also send a ‘distress’ signal, with an exact location, back to base if unusual behaviour is detected.
This early warning system has the added benefit of helping to rapidly identify and recover birds which have died.
- Scottish Government inverts tech procurement to help public sector buy ‘what you do not know exists’
- Space Agency opens library of satellite images for public sector use
- Environmental dataset released to councils
Cunningham, the member of Scottish Parliament for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire, said: “This is great news for improving our understanding of eagle behaviours, and in the fight against wildlife crime. The tags should make a real difference in deterring would-be criminals, as well as playing a key role in establishing exactly what happened, should any of these magnificent birds of prey disappear or die in unusual circumstances.”
Conservation groups will look to extend use of the tags if the trial proves successful, while also examining the potential miniaturisation of the technology to allow similar tagging of Hen Harriers and other species.
Robbie Kernahan, head of wildlife management, of Scottish Natural Heritage added: “This exciting new technology will give us new information on the movements of these iconic birds. This should also be a significant deterrent to anyone thinking of persecuting raptors, as we will have detailed information on birds’ movements in the minutes leading up to their death.”
The recently launched Cairngorms Nature Action Plan 2019-2023 aims to improve raptor conservation and tackle wildlife crime.
Examining the language of each party’s manifesto reveals significant differences in the amount and focus of proposals related to technology and data policy – as well as in the wider themes of each...
Barts Health to launch procurement for supplier to host and maintain VDI environment
DHSC minister says that agreement ensures that UK citizens will receive relevant information
With ambitious plans for digital infrastructure, online services, and cloud migration, one local authority has a busy year ahead. Gill Hitchcock reports.