Lasers are to be deployed against Britain’s biggest bird of prey to stop them taking sheep.
Farmers will be able to apply for licences to fire the beams on to hillsides on the west coast of Scotland to discourage sea eagles from areas where they are believed to be feeding on lambs. The method is being trialled by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and its partners in response to concerns among the crofting and farming communities.
White-tailed sea eagles were reintroduced to Scotland in the 1970s and the population stands at an estimated 106 breeding pairs. It is thought that the figure could double within ten years.
According to sheep farmers and crofters, the birds are not only taking large numbers of lambs but threatening rural livelihoods. Laser licences will be granted to farmers in areas where lambs have been taken by the birds.