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Pro Natura chooses Golden Eagle as its animal of the year

Three hundred pairs of Golden Eagles have been successfully re-introduced in Switzerland (picture: Pro Natura)

The Swiss environment protection group, Pro Natura, has chosen the golden eagle as its animal of the year. The group says the country's 300 pairs are doing very well; proof that endangered species can be successfully protected.

According to Pro Natura's secretary, Otto Sieber, the Golden Eagles are doing so well that it would be difficult to introduce more into Switzerland.

He added that their success is in marked contrast to other endangered species such as the frog, the beaver and the lynx, which are struggling to gain a foothold after being re-introduced into the wild.

In the 1950s, the golden eagle suffered an undeserved reputation as a killer of children and sheep. Systematic plundering of nests and poisoning brought it almost to the brink of extinction.

In 1953, the government reacted by introducing measures to protect the species.

The eagle typically needs an area of 100 square kilometres to live and hunt. It feeds mainly on marmots, fawns, fox cubs, hares and even cats if there is insufficient wildlife.

Pro Natura is currently working on the creation of a new national park.

swissinfo with agencies


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