Portuguese environmentalists have condemned the killing of the country’s last remaining nesting male Iberian Imperial Eagle.
The bird, also known as the Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti), is one of the three rarest birds of prey on the planet, with only around 400 surviving, and is classified as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
According to a statement by environmental groups, including SOS Lynx, A Nossa Terra and Almargem, the incident occurred next to the eagle’s nest between February 21 and 23 in the Vale do Guadiana natural park, close to the country’s southeastern border with Spain – the bird’s killers remain at large.
Speaking about the senseless act, Miguel Rodrigues, of SOS Lynx, said, “Irrational attitudes constitute one of the main barriers to predator conservation in Spain and Portugal. If predator persecution cannot be adequately controlled, the future recovery of many important predator species will be in doubt.”
The shooting has been described as a ‘disaster’ for the recovery of the species in Portugal, and threatens the prolonged survival of other important predators, such the the Iberian lynx, the most endangered feline species in the world.
Image Credit – Vlaskop via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license
I only read this news story, after I got back from a holiday in Portugal. I came across this story, because I saw a bird of prey while on the N124 from Silves to Porto de Lagos, wrote down a description, and then looked up birds of prey in portugal when I got home. And the picture that accompanies this article is the bird we saw! But I am doubting myself now, because there are so few of them left. Is it possible it was an Iberian Eagle that I saw, or something else.
So, why would they shoot it dead? What do they stand to gain from this act? Something’s missing from this story…
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SOOOOO not cool!
“Nu-uh, not cool!”