We are delighted to announce The Wildheart Trust will be represented by our Chief Executive Veronica Chrisp on the White-tailed Eagle Project Steering Group. This project is tasked with the reintroduction of the bird to the Isle of Wight having secured a permit to do so later last year. The project is a partnership between Forestry England and the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation with local conservation groups and organisations supporting by way of a steering group.
“White-tailed Eagles were once widespread along the whole of the South Coast of England, from Cornwall to Kent, before being driven to extinction by relentless persecution that began in the Middle Ages. The last pair bred on Culver Cliff on the Isle of Wight in 1780.”
When asked about her role, Ms Chrisp said that “this is a wonderful opportunity for us to be part of such a prestigious project which has long term, positive implications for conservation and the Island.”
“Many parts of southern England are capable of supporting breeding and wintering White-tailed Eagles, but the Isle of Wight was considered the most suitable location for the reintroduction. It is the last known breeding site of the species in southern England, is located close to highly suitable foraging areas in the Solent and surrounding estuaries, has numerous potential nesting sites in woods and cliffs, and quiet areas for immature birds. It is also well positioned to facilitate the dispersal of eagles both west and east along the coast to sites such as Poole Harbour in Dorset and Pagham Harbour in West Sussex. Inland lakes such as Blashford, situated 30 km to the north-west, will provide additional foraging areas, and the nearby New Forest is also likely to be visited by the birds after release. In time there is potential for White-tailed Eagles to spread to other coastal regions of southern England as well as to inland water bodies.”
The Trust is also involved in three other in situ conservation projects spanning from Tiger conservation in India, Lemur Conservation in Madagascar and here on the Isle of Wight with the Reddish Buff Moth project. We are thrilled to be able to support another worthy project on our doorstep, and will keep you posted as information becomes available on it’s success.
If you want to find out more you are all invited to meet the team who will be reintroducing them on Tuesday 23 July during drop in sessions running from 6 – 8pm at the Quay Arts Centre, Newport.
For more information and a full list of Q&A you can also visit www.roydennis.org/isleofwight
Photo credits: Keith Johnson