Conservationists from the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies have met with experts in Japan to discuss the nation’s endangered golden eagles.
The collaboration is set to benefit from Scotland’s own experiences with the declining populations of the birds of prey, to support development of a Japanese conservation strategy.
The Scottish delegation, consisting of specialists from both the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project, met with representatives from Japanese government, non-governmental agencies, zoos and universities.
This also coincided with a meeting of Japanese golden eagle researchers and conservation stakeholders, held by Kyoto University in Tokyo, with support from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.
The meeting allowed the Scottish scientists to share directly their data on ecology, genetics, veterinary medicine and habitat management in relation to golden eagle conservation.
The delegates spoke of their experiences of using satellite tagging to track translocated birds, as well as how they had used clinical veterinary protocols to protect the birds’ health. They also discussed their successful research and conservation initiatives, to consider how these could inform future conservation action.
The assembly also heard a recorded message of support from Lorna Slater, the Scottish Minister for the Environment.
The visit, which followed a visit from Japanese scientists to Scotland in 2022, provided an opportunity for the Scottish delegation to join a public meeting held by the Nature Conservation Society of Japan, which conducts golden eagle conservation research across the country. They also visited Japan’s Raptor Conservation Centre at Sakata, where they toured the local golden eagle habitat.
The trip was funded by a Royal Society of Edinburgh SAPHIRE award, and allows the researchers to continue sharing their research directly to support the protection of golden eagles.
Professor Rob Ogden, director of conservation science at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: “We welcome the opportunity to directly share our knowledge with Japanese experts, with support from our respective policymakers.
“Our contributions to discussions were very well received and we have been assured that these will have a significant impact on the preparation of Japan’s action plan. We look forward to further valuable collaboration with our Japanese colleagues, for our mutual benefit.”
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