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Golden Eagle


The Irish Raptor Study Group The Irish Raptor Study Group (IRSG) was established at our inaugural conference in 1995, which was attended and supported by members of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Raptor Study Groups. Raptor Study Groups in Britain and Ireland play an important role in monitoring widely dispersed breeding raptors. The IRSG was heavily involved in the 1995-1996 National Barn Owl Survey, we helped initiate and co-ordinate the first National Hen Harrier Survey in 1998-1999 and we are also playing an instrumental role in the 2001 Peregrine Survey. Our constitution states our primary aim is to "promote the conservation and protection of all wild breeding and migratory raptor species and their habitats in Ireland." The IRSG is an unincorporated body, without registered charity status. An annual general meeting was held on Saturday 10th of February 2001 and there was no demand to change the current status of the group at present. The IRSG has no formal financial structure and no assets, fixed or current (other than a small credit bank balance). Funds, when required, are provided by the members as for example payment of a conference fee by attendees. The IRSG is modelled on and administered like the Raptor Study Groups in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England and is an association of raptor enthusiasts with a constitution. The organisation is run by an elected committee and holds annual general meetings where audited accounts are produced on an annual basis. The Curlew Trust The Curlew Trust is an Irish registered private charity, which was set up to promote and protect Ireland's environmental heritage. The objects of the Charity are to conserve and improve Ireland's existing flora and fauna, to protect Ireland's wildlife and ecological habitats, as well as raising the general level of awareness and support for Ireland's environmental heritage. The Charity is involved in managing a small number of private nature reserves throughout the country. It is currently promoting a number of projects, including: a Grey Partridge conservation programme in Cos. Offaly and Wexford, a native Oak tree planting programme and a nest box project for Barn Owls. The Curlew Trust has strong links with the financial and professional sector in Ireland. Co. Donegal County Donegal is in the extreme northwest of Ireland, to the west of Northern Ireland. Donegal lies in a climatic zone dominated by mild southwesterly winds and is warmed by the North Atlantic Drift. Mean air temperatures are between 4ºC and 6ºC in winter and are between 14º C and 16º C in the warmest months. The mean annual rainfall in Donegal is between 1,000 and 2,000mm. The topography of Donegal is quite varied and uneven in nature. The coastal plains gradually give way to mountains in the interior of the County. The mountains are relatively low and usually range from 300 to 500m and none of the peaks are more than 800m above sea level. The uplands and mountains of Donegal are dominated by mountain blanket bog adjoined by marginal farmland or conifer afforestation on the lower reaches. There are few native upland woodlands left and areas of heather or grasslands, such as purple moor grass, predominate. Unlike the West of Ireland overgrazing of hills is not a significant problem and grazing pressure in Donegal is decreasing as the regeneration of heather and areas of deciduous scrub indicate. The current national sheep destocking programme, schemes such as the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme and concurrent growth of the Irish economy are likely to further reduce upland grazing pressure in County Donegal. Glenveagh National ParkGlenveagh National Park [url=http://homepage.tinet.ie/~knp/glenveagh/index.htm]Glenveagh National Park[/url] is the site for release of Golden Eagles. Managed by Dúchas – The Heritage Service, it lies along the Derryveagh mountains in the northwest of County Donegal. This 16,000 hectares of mountain, bogs, lakes and woods is cut in two by the spectacular valley of Glenveagh. The park lies within the Glenveagh and Cloughnagore SAC (site code 02047) which covers 29,443 hectares and this SAC alone could hold 3-4 pairs of Golden Eagles. Dr Jeff Watson, an expert from Scotland and the author of the Golden Eagle monograph in the Poyser series, said, “ The Glenveagh National Park area offers an excellent location for the initial release programme”. The Blue Stack Mountains range, 20km to the south, and also extensively protected by Natura 2000 designation, could hold 2-3 pairs. The coastal sites at Slieve League, Slieve Tooey and Horn Head are also SACs and are likely to hold 2-3 pairs due to availability of lagomorphs and seabirds. Other potential Donegal home ranges include Slieve Sneacht, Tory Island, Muckish Mountain and Aranmore cliffs. The Ben Bulbin mountain range to the south should provide suitable territory and may prove to be an important staging post, in the long term, for birds dispersing southwards, from Donegal to Mayo and Galway, as a result of increasing breeding densities. For those interested in visiting Glenveagh National Park [url=http://www.goireland.com/donegal/scripts/premises.asp?premisesid=14401]please see here[/url]. County Donegal is located in the north west of Ireland. For more information, see [url=http://www.donegal.ie/]here[/url]. Listen to local radio in Donegal with [url=http://www.donegal.net/media/Highland.asx]Highland Radio[/url]. Our Sponsors We are grateful to the [url=http://www.ealga.ie/]Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands[/url] and [url=http://homepage.tinet.ie/~knp/duchas/index.htm]Dúchas[/url] - The Heritage Service, for allowing us to release golden eagles in Glenveagh National Park. The main funding for the project has come from [url=http://www.2000ireland.ie/]The National Millennium Committee[/url], [url=http://www.heritagecouncil.ie/]The Heritage Council[/url], [url=http://europa.eu.int/comm/life/nature/]EU LIFE Nature[/url] and [url=http://www.udaras.ie/]Údarás na Gaeltachta[/url]. We also acknowledge the financial support of [url=http://www.bankofireland.ie/]Bank of Ireland[/url], [url=http://www.dunloe.com/]Dunloe Ewart Plc[/url], [url=http://www.o2.ie/]O2[/url], [url=http://www.didstore.com/]DID Electrical[/url] and [url=http://www.kpmg.ie/]KPMG[/url]. Use of Photographs We gratefully acknowledge the kind permission of [url=http://www.lauriecampbell.com/]Laurie Campbell[/url], natural history photographer, for use of photographs. Contact Us Lorcan O'Toole Project Manager Golden Eagle Re-Introduction Project Carrowtrasna, Churchill, County Donegal Tel: 074 9137070 Fax: 074 9137070 E-mail: lorcan.otoole@goldeneagle.ie