Justice for Golden Eagle Killed and Dumped at Sea

Target: Iain Livingstone, Deputy Chief Constable Designate of Scotland Police

Goal: Apprehend the person responsible for killing and dumping a golden eagle.

It is suspected that someone illegally killed a young golden eagle near Edinburgh and dumped the body at sea. Knowledge of the eagle’s death resulted from the unexpected termination of transmission from the eagle’s satellite tag and its suspicious restart in the North Sea. Chris Packham, a broadcaster and environmentalist, and the campaign group Raptor Persecution UK tagged the golden eagle in question at a nesting site in the Scottish Borders last summer. The golden eagle was named Fred after the landowner’s grandson.

GPS data from Fred’s tag showed that on January 20, he roosted overnight in the trees overlooking a moor. At 10am on January 21, Fred’s GPS tag suddenly stopped working. On January 24, Fred’s tag began transmitting again. The tag was transmitting a steady signal from 10 miles off the east coast of Scotland. The tag continuously transmitted a signal until January 26, when it stopped 15 miles offshore.

“It is beyond doubt that Fred’s disappearance is highly suspicious. Golden eagles don’t generally fly out for miles over large bodies of sea water but even if Fred had done so, apart from defying everything we’ve learned about Scottish golden eagle behavior, we would have seen excellent tracking data plotting his route given the reliability of the tag,” said Dr. Ruth Tingay of Raptor Persecution UK. The Scottish government reported last year that 41 out of 131 satellite-tagged eagles disappeared under suspicious circumstances in Scotland, predominantly on or near to moors. Sign this petition to urge Scottish authorities to investigate the disappearance of Fred and apprehend the person responsible.


Dear Deputy Livingstone,

A satellite-tagged golden eagle was killed and dumped into the sea this past January. A very high number of these birds that are studied by environmentalists have died under suspicious circumstances. The golden eagle that was found to be dead was a well tracked bird named Fred, after the grandson of the man who owned the land where he was tagged.

Golden eagles are a protected bird of prey, but they continuously fall victim to illegal killings. Chris Packham, an environmentalist involved with the tracking of Fred, said, “Once again, we have the suspicious disappearance of a satellite-tagged golden eagle in an area managed for driven grouse shooting. What’s truly shocking about this case is that it didn’t take place in a remote Highland glen miles from anywhere, but it happened within a stone’s throw of Edinburgh, right under the noses of the Scottish government.” I urge you to use your forces to investigate the suspicious death of this protected golden eagle and apprehend the person responsible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nova

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