Our Research So Far

The Eagle Reintroduction Wales project was established at Cardiff University in July 2017 - over the last year we have hit the ground running with ground breaking research. With most of our research, we are working with a blank canvas as no research assessments have been conducted for eagles in Wales, apart from a commissioned report published by the Countryside Council for Wales back in 2005.

The Feasibility of Eagles coming back to Wales -

In 2013, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approved guidelines for reintroduction and conservation translocation of species. Reintroduction programmes are not an easy process, they are strict, highly regulated, licensing processes shaped by statutory conservation agencies in Britain. In the case of Wales, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) are in charge of reviewing feasibility studies and issuing species licences.

The ERW project’s research questions are shaped around the IUCN guidelines. Based on these guidelines the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has developed a process for evaluating and undertaking species translocation for conservation purposes. The reintroduction of any species to Wales should follow these guidelines. Check our progress so far:-

The History of Eagles in Wales - 2017-2018:

The history of eagles in Wales has always been a mystery for many ornithologist, despite a number of UK researchers attempting to map the UK historic distribution. We found that previous English and Scottish researchers who collated evidence to map the historic distribution of eagles in Britain had 25 common welsh eagle records. We also predicted, from our research that the lack of welsh eagle records recorded previously was probably attributed to the lack of understanding of the Welsh language. We started with 25 historic eagle records, which was not enough to feed into a reintroduction programme. With the hard work of gathering data, modelling and mapping we now have 166 eagle records with evidence of eagles being present in every county across Wales. Which has put us at a good starting point, as stated by the IUCN guidelines we are not able to reintroduce any species outside of their indigenous range.


Eagle habitat in Wales - 2018 - 2019:

We are currently quantifying all suitable eagle habitats across Wales for both species. We are quantifying the proportion of upland moors and heathland for Golden eagles and coastal, estuaries and inland water-bodies for White-tailed Eagles. Our assessments are taking into consideration the environmental needs of the species. When we have mapped all suitable eagle habitat in Wales, we will then look at modern welsh land uses which may influence the distribution of eagles across the Welsh landscape (e.g. Wind farm or Forestry Commissioned developments). Keep an EagleEye out for more news on!