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Golden eagles thriving, says forest management agency

Members of the public have helped to find eight new eagle territories.

Maakotka. Image: Yle/ Jari Salonen

The annual nesting period for the golden eagle has been very successful in Finland this year, according to the Finnish forestry administration Metsähallitus.

Ample food sources and good weather conditions led to the mapping of some 380 inhabited golden eagle nesting territories, eight of which were new discoveries, according to the agency's Nature Services team.

The success of the species' summertime nesting may vary greatly from year to year. This summer 161 nests yielded 205 hatchlings, while last year 108 eaglets came from 92 nests.

Story continues after photo.

A golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) roosting. Image: Yle/ Jari Salonen

Almost all known golden eagle territories in Finland are located in reindeer herding regions north of the Oulu river. Metsähallitus said that nesting in these areas was exceptionally successful this year.

Members of the public have been instrumental in identifying and tracking local eagle populations. Volunteers found an additional eight new nests, either in previously known or newly-listed territories.

Metsähallitus pays out a 99 euro finder's fee for each new nest identified.

The agency's Nature Services unit handles the groundwork related to damage that reindeer herding causes in golden eagle territory. This year, Metsähallitus conducted aerial helicopter surveys of the region's nests.