Mull’s White-tailed eagles continues to bring £5 million in benefit each year to the Island

[singlepic id=156 w=158 h=225 float=left]The findings of a study undertaken by the Progressive Partnership, commissioned by the RSPB, found that tourism generated by the reintroduction of the White-tailed eagle supports the equivalent of 110 full-time jobs. The calculations were based on a survey of more than 1,200 people who visited the island in 2010. Almost a quarter of the people interviewed said the eagles were an important factor in them choosing Mull as a destination. The Scottish government has estimated that wildlife tourism is now worth £276m each year to the country’s economy, supporting 2,763 jobs in the sector.

Dave Sexton, RSPB Scotland’s Mull Officer, said: “This survey backs up previous studies looking at just how much wildlife tourism contributes to the Scottish economy; a strong argument for investing further in nature conservation projects. And of course, these figures say nothing about the additional benefits these projects can bring to our health and wellbeing, as well as the sheer exhilaration of simply watching these incredible birds soaring free. Living and working with predators like eagles also has its challenges and we should be grateful for the work of farmers and land managers who have an essential role in safeguarding them for the nation.[singlepic id=161 w=300 h=204 float=right]

Summer visitors

Minister for Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing said: “I am encouraged by the number of people coming to see these magnificent birds, especially in Mull, and all the hard work being carried out by the RSPB as well as all those who have a role to play in protecting the species.”

[singlepic id=164 w=300 h=202 float=left] According to VisitScotland , White-tailed Eagles account for an estimated 50% of all enquiries at their information centre in Craignure during the summer months on Mull. Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “These economic impact figures are great news for Mull and no surprise to us at VisitScotland. The eagles have really captured the imagination of visitors and are a fantastic part of the island’s stunning wildlife and rich natural heritage and any visitor who is privileged enough to experience seeing them will undoubtedly have a memorable and unique holiday.”

RSPB Scotland has cited the findings as a strong argument for investing further in nature conservation projects. A quarter of visitors to Mull were interested in wildlife.

Mull Eagle Watch is run by a partnership of Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Mull and Iona Community Trust, Strathclyde Police and RSPB Scotland.



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