The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has launched an investigation following the recent discovery of a dead white-tailed eagle near Cranberry Lough in south Roscommon.

It is appealing to the public for information.

The two-year-old female eagle was part of the NPWS white-tailed eagle reintroduction programme and was released in 2022 on the shores of Lough Derg.

Investigating officers have established that the bird was shot and are awaiting further results of forensic analysis that may provide additional information.

The NPWS said it deplores the deliberate killing of rare and endangered species and takes bird of prey persecutions extremely seriously. It has appealed for any information the public may have in relation to the incident.

Minister of State for nature Malcolm Noonan said that the birds have been part of a reintroduction project to restore their populations in Ireland.

“To think that one would be shot is unconscionable. I am appealing to anyone who has information about this appalling wildlife crime to please report it to the NPWS or to the gardaí,” he said.

Satellite tags

As part of the reintroduction programme, white-tailed eagle chicks are fitted with satellite tags to monitor their movement.

Information from the satellite tag for the dead eagle indicates that she died sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning of 11 and 12 March.

An adult white-tailed sea eagle searching for fish.\ Valerie O'Sullivan/Golden Eagle Trust

Satellite information shows that she was present in the area over the past couple of weeks, having travelled around the west and north of the country since her release.

The eagle left Lough Derg just over a year ago, moving southwest to the Shannon estuary and back north through the Burren and on to Lough Allen before reaching Donegal in mid-April 2023. The bird also spent time on the Leitrim-Cavan border.

In 2024, she spent most of her time along the borders between Galway, Offaly and Roscommon, following the Shannon River and Suck River and visiting the associated callows.

Wanton act of violence

NPWS director general Niall Ó Donnchú described the incident as a “wanton act of violence against this beautiful and endangered bird”.

“We’re asking for the public’s help in bringing the perpetrator of this heinous act of destruction to justice.”

Members of the public can contact the NPWS by calling 01-539 3418 or emailing

Roscommon Garda Station can also be contacted on 090-663 8300. All reports will be treated in the strictest of confidence, the NPWS said.