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Suffolk Says No to Sea Eagles

Controversy has erupted over the planned reintroduction of the White-Tailed Sea Eagle, Today’s Endangered All-Star, to the Suffolk region, on the coast northeast of London. The Guardian reports that the plan, launched by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, initially met with approval from most residents, but when free-range chicken and pig farmers heard that enormous raptors might be spreading their wings over domesticated flocks and herds—triggering stress and fear in their animals—alarm spread. Reintroductions in northwest Scotland have been successful, generating ecotourism to that area, but signs have appeared around Suffolk urging: “Say No to Sea Eagles Here.” Newspaper editorials claim the plan expresses “contempt for human society.” Even birders have worried that the project may imperil rare bitterns in the area. But Mark Avery, the RSPB’s conservation director, promised compensation for farmers and claimed that the birding group has done significant research on the plan, which may increase tourism to the area. He told The Guardian: “We spend too much of our time trying to stop bad things happening. This is a good thing we could be making happen – it’s finishing off habitat restoration by putting back the last species that cannot get back here on its own … it’s a great project, and everybody ought to be excited by it.”
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