Danish White-tailed Eagles found Poisoned.

[singlepic id=192 w=320 h=240 float=left]For the first time in almost a century a pair of White-tailed Eagles attempted to bred on the Danish island of Funen. Tragically just before the single eaglet contained in the eyrie fledged disaster struck when both the adult male and the single eaglet were found poisoned at the nest towards the end of June. The pair of breeding eagles were regarded by Danish conservationists as a symbol of the recent restoration of a healthy ecosystem throughout the Odense Bay area, providing increased optimism for a better future for breeding eagles in this region.

The local branch of DOF (BirdLife in Denmark) put up the nest platform at the end of 2009 and if everything had worked out according to plan, the nestling would have left the nest at the beginning of July, but sadly, the nestling and the adult male died after feeding on a poisoned bait. 

A Reward of almost 7000 Euros Offered

DOF has settled the probably highest reward in Denmark’s history in relation to wildlife crime. Members of Bird Life Denmark and concerned locals have promised to double the reward from 25,000 to 50,000 Danish kroner (almost 7000 Euros) for crucial information leading to the identification and successful prosecution of those responsible. 

In July, French laboratory tests ordered by the Veterinary Institute of the Technical University of Denmark and the National Forest and Nature Agency established that the eagles had been poisoned with the prohibited and extremely powerful toxicant carbofuran which retards the nerve system. 

“There is no doubt that DOF – BirdLife Denmark considers it vital to solve the case as fast as possible, believing that this reward would be [singlepic id=193 w=320 h=240 float=right]a good initiative which will increase birds protection”, stated Lennart Pedersen, head of BirdLife Denmark’s Eagle Project. 

“It is encouraging that our members and others who are appalled by this case are calling us to offer financial support, which can persuade the public to provide information that may help the police in their investigation of the poison killing of the two birds. This shows that friends of nature will not accept attempts on our shared natural amenities and rare birds”, concluded Mr Pedersen. 

[singlepic id=162 w=320 h=240 float=left]Before 1850 The White-tailed Eagle was relatively common in Denmark with an estimated 50 breeding pairs. However, due to the intense raptor persecution which began after 1950 the species was eradicated from Denmark. The last pair successfully bred in Denmark in 1911. Fortunately The White-tailed Eagle returned to Denmark in 1995, when one pair bred successfully – in 2009 there were 28 breeding pairs.


According to DOF – BirdLife Denmark the poisoning scenario is incredibly disturbing, there are huge problems with it in Denmark – not only with the poisoned eagles but also buzzards and owls in many regions. A recent survey in this country shows that 90% of examined raptors and owls contains one or more rodenticides.

Raptor Politics wishes to extend thanks to DOF – BirdLife Denmark for allowing this story to be published!

1 comment to Danish White-tailed Eagles found Poisoned.

  • John Miles

    Denmark is a fantastic place to visit with wildlife conservation high on the list of the country’s agenda. Even Golden Eagle nest in woodland next to open farm land feeding on Brown Hare. Eagle Owls also breed there but are yet to be proven coming in from Sweden across the strait. With no reintroduction of White tailed Eagle the increase in pairs is amazing but hopefully the country does not go down the line of the UK where the destruction of Birds of Prey is common on shooting estates.