Even more about the finding of the 32-year-old WTE
Source: ERIKA ELFSBERG, newspaper Ålandstidningen, by way of Göran Andersson, SOFS, Swedish Ornithological Society, 2011-03-02, http://www.sofnet.org/apps/nyheter/las_mer.asp?NewsID=6451Record old white-tailed eagle found on Åland
A white-tailed eagle found dead on Foglö was 32 years old. This is world record. Just to reach adult age is a feat for an eagle, says environmental inspector (naturvårdsintendent)Jörgen Eriksson.
Ann-Mari Holmström caught sight of the dead white-tailed eagle when she and her husband Karl-Göran were out walking. The eagle was ringed, and Ann-Mari Holmström delivered the rings to Jörgen Eriksson. It turned out that the eagle had had a long life. It became 32 years old, and so is the oldest free-living eagle that has been found. ”We saw that there was something lying on the ice. Birds were pecking at it. Fantastic that the eagle turned out to be so old. We see eagles every day at our home on Föglö but this was the first dead one that I have found,” Ann-Mari Holmström says. Threatened by many dangers
Jörgen Eriksson is enthusiastic over the age of the eagle. Was it really and truly that old!?
Just reaching maturity is noteworthy for an eagle. As a species white-tailed eagles are long-lived but they are exposed to many risks in life.
The liberal use of pesticides during a great part of the 20th century reduced the eagle population and eagles still suffer from it. Moreover, some pesticides are still in use. Other dangers for eagles are railway and road traffic and power lines.
During the first two months of this year another eagle has already been handed in. It was killed by a car as it was feeding on a carcass at the roadside. Jörgen Eriksson thinks that it is a real feat that the eagle found on Föglö managed to have such a long life. The outlook for white-tailed eaglets hatched now may be different. They have a much better chance to reach 30 years or even more, he says. Last year about 85 white-tailed eagle chicks were hatched on Åland and 74 of them were ringed. Power companies pioneers
The eagle was fetched with the assistance of Johan Franzén, Bänö, and was delivered to docent Torsten Stjernberg at the Finnish Museum of Natural History, Helsinki; Torsten Stjernberg noted that apart from its age, the rings told that the eagle was hatched on the east coast of Sweden. It was born two years earlier than the previous age champion, an eagle that was ringed in Lapland in 1980. But that bird still lives so it can reach an even higher age, he says.
One measure to save white-tailed eagle lives was put in practice some years ago by the Åland co-operative power company.
They set an extra cross beam on their power lines; white-tailed eagles can land on these without getting a current through their bodies. There have been less power failures as well i a on Kökar where the ”eagle protection” has been implemented. The power poles are a very real danger for eagles, they are no unusual cause of death.
-"The Åland co-operative power company has been a pioneer”, Torsten Stjernberg says.
Recommendations will now be worked out in Finland and the same method will be implemented by Finnish power companies.