A GROUP of estates in Perthshire has appealed for help in trying to trace a golden eagle whose satellite tag stopped transmitting.

Farmers, gamekeepers, shepherds and local people have gathered to look for the bird in the Strathbraan area in addition to a search under-taken by police.

The eagle’s tag last transmitted on May 18. It was believed to have been roosting in the area around Loch Tay. Independent bird monitors in the area said they recorded eagles in the vicinity later in the day after the last ping from the satellite-tagged bird.

Tim Baynes, moorland director at landowner and rural business organisation Scottish Land and Estates (SLE), said: “Local estates have been actively involved in efforts to find the golden eagle which had been roosting in the area. We have been told eagles were seen shortly after the last ping from the satellite tag was recorded and eagles were frequently seen thereafter but it is not possible to establish if one of them is the tagged eagle while they are flying around.

“Farmers, gamekeepers, shepherds and local people have been looking out to see if they can find any trace of this bird. Raptors are a common sight in the area, particularly buzzards, but also hen harriers and golden eagles.

“It is important to all of us that we establish what has happened to this young bird. We realise that when a tag stops transmitting there will be speculation as to whether it has died or has been killed.

“However, as searches have found nothing and eagles were recorded flying in the area shortly after the tag stopped transmitting and thereafter, this bird could well be still flying around with a malfunctioning tag.

“What we know at this stage is a tag stopped working and are appealing for anyone who may have any information to contact Police Scotland.”

SLE said the estate where the last satellite tag signal was recorded has co-operated fully with the police inquiry. Anyone who can help is asked contact Police Scotland on 101 as soon as possible.