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Wednesday July 24, 2024

Finland grants permits to hunt protected eagle

Permits to hunt six white-tailed sea eagles will be granted between May 14 and June 9

By AFP
May 14, 2024
A White-tailed Sea Eagle seen in this undated photo.— birdwatchireland.ie/File
A White-tailed Sea Eagle seen in this undated photo.— birdwatchireland.ie/File 

HELSINKI: A Finnish island will from Tuesday issue permits to hunt an eagle protected under EU law in order to save other endangered seabirds, local authorities said.

Permits to hunt six white-tailed sea eagles will be granted between May 14 and June 9 on the Finnish island Lagskar, local government official Jesper Josefsson told AFP. The species is protected within the European Union.

The island forms part of the autonomous and demilitarised group of Aland islands. The area belongs to EU´s Natura 2000 network of protected areas for flora and fauna. Through the cull, the local government on Aland aims to protect endangered eiders -- a kind of sea duck -- that nest on the island. After failed attempts to stop the eagles preying on the eiders, the local government has issued permits to hunt them for a second year in a row.

“The aim is not to reduce the eagle population but to protect the eider in this restricted area during a limited time period,” Josefsson, the Aland government´s economy and environment minister, told AFP. A similar decision last year led to the killing of three eagles. Josefsson said the long-term aim was to make the eagles “start avoiding the area”.

Finland is the only EU country that allows the killing of the white-tailed sea eagle, listed as a “flagship species” for nature conservation under EU law. The Finnish branch of the international bird organisation BirdLife said it had filed a complaint to Finland´s Supreme Administrative Court on Monday.