27 April 2023

Update on Sula B50


by Rick T.

27 April 2023

Sadly, one of the youngest translocated Golden Eagles, Sula (B50) was discovered dead on the afternoon of 11th February 2023 at Queensbury Estate, Dumfries & Galloway.

Buccleuch Estates staff immediately notified Police Scotland and the bird was collected and taken to the Veterinary Investigation Centre at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) in Dumfries where a very thorough investigation including a variety of tests (toxicology, histopathology, virology, bacteriology and parasitology) was conducted.

During this in-depth investigation, avian flu was ruled out and no definitive cause of death was found. The report showed that Sula had been in excellent condition prior to her death.

Dr Cat Barlow, SSGEP project manager, said:

"Though we are of course very sad that Sula has died, it is reassuring for the local golden eagle population that this thorough investigation found no evidence of avian flu or other potential causes, and that Sula had clearly been thriving before her death.

"Like any species, golden eagles can die suddenly for a number of reasons, including natural causes.

"Overall, the golden eagles translocated by our project have a fantastic survival rate."

Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, which runs the estate, said:

"Buccleuch work closely with the SSGEP in the local area".

"We are extremely proud of our record in recent years of helping rebuild the population and look forward to continuing to do so in the years ahead."

Sula (a female) was one of 6 young eagles released in 2022 and was 9 months old when she was sadly discovered.