Hatchling numbers plummet for Finland’s golden eagle

The number of golden eagles hatchlings has dropped significantly in Finland this year. In this picture, a golden eagle flies in a forest in France. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)
It’s been another bad year for golden eagles in Finland, as an annual project to track down and ring eaglets has again observed that the number of new hatchlings is falling.

Finland’s state-owned forest manager Metsähallitus says it counted just 101 golden eagle hatchlings this season, down from an already low total of 140 counted last year. The number of nests that successfully hosted a golden eagle eaglet was calculated to be down by 40 percent.

Metsähallitus says the eagles’ poor food situation is to blame, as populations of Finland’s land fowl – a major source of food for the raptor – are also down.

Most of Finland’s eagles in the north

A total of 543 golden eagle territories have been identified in Finland in the past, 80 percent of which are in Lapland, and a full 90 percent of which are in areas with active reindeer husbandry.

This year’s count found only 380 inhabited territories, however, with only 86 successful nests and 101 young that could be ringed for future observation and tracking.

Five new golden eagle territories were discovered in 2018, four of which were found in southern parts of the country.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Inuit association gets $900,000 to monitor marine protected area in Arctic Canada, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: How did Finland’s 5 white-tailed deer become 100,000 in only 80 years?, Yle News

Iceland: Scientists puzzled by right whale’s appearance off Iceland, CBC News

Norway: Northern Barents Sea warming at alarming speed, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia adds small Arctic island to large national park, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Poachers suspected behind dwindling wolf numbers in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Communities wrestle with shark-bite mystery off Alaskan coast, Eye on the Arctic

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