RECMP

Regional Eagle Conservation Management Plan

The RECMP is a golden eagle research, conservation and monitoring project that covers the Monadhliath Natural Heritage Zone (known as (NHZ10). It is chiefly funded by SSE Renewables through its Dunmaglass wind farm development. Activity is overseen by an Advisory Board consisting of representatives from the following organisations:

    • SSE Renewables
    • The Highland Council
    • NatureScot
    • The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
    • Highland Raptor Study Group
    • Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation
    • Natural Research Ltd
    • Nevis Environmental

The aims of the RECMP are:

1 Research

2 Conservation and Monitoring

3 Community and public engagement


Research is focused on increasing understanding of golden use of the upland landscape and publishing scientific papers. Five young golden eagles from NHZ10 were satellite tagged each year for five years (2015-19) and data from 100+ satellite tagged golden eagles was used to examine landscape use. This led to the development of the GET model, which helps to predict how eagles use the landscape in relation to topography. The research is now looking in more detail into golden eagle habitat use in relation to wind farms.

Conservation and Monitoring is focused on monitoring golden eagle territories within NHZ10. For this a full time golden eagle project officer is employed, who works closely with estates, landowners, gamekeepers and raptor study groups to monitor and project all golden territories within NHZ10. Between 2015 and 2020 the number of golden territories in NHZ10 increased from 19 to 25 and the region is now very well monitoring and has one of the fasting increasing golden eagle populations in Scotland.

Community and public engagement will be the next phase of the RECMP project, during which a programme will be established to allow community groups and members of the public to find out more about golden eagle conservation and experience these magnificent birds in their natural habitat.

Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) can be found across the moors and glens of northern Scotland.

Fact 1:

Eating Habits

Golden eagles hunt over land by flying low and striking with talons in a brief rush or swift pounce - only rarely do they stoop from height after prey.

The bird relies on surprise attack – ensuing chases rarely succeed. While pairs may hunt co-operatively, it is rare for numbers of birds to congregate at a food source.

Eagle diet is principally mammals and birds, taken both alive and as carrion. Main live prey consists of medium sized mammals and birds such as rabbits, hares, grouse and ptarmigan. The diet of coastal birds includes gulls and other seabirds. Larger items are taken as carrion.

The maximum weight most golden eagles can lift is 4-5kg, hence tales of very large animals or even children being carried away are to be viewed with scepticism.

In the western Highlands of Scotland where live prey is scarce, the eagles depend largely on carrion, especially during the winter months. The average daily food requirement is 250g. After a large meal, an eagle may not need to eat again for several days.

Fact 3

Fact 4

Fact 5

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Study Title - Date Published - Click here to access

Golden Eagles pictured within the Monadhliath Natural Heritage Zone, March 2021

Other wildlife in the Monadhliath Natural Heritage Zone, pictured in March 2021

Dunlin

Mountain Hare

Ptarmigan

Red Grouse

Photos from remote camera at the Stronelairg supplementary winter feeding site. Winter 2019/20.