Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Honour for sea eagles' champion

Sea eagle
Sea eagles were reintroduced to Scotland in 1975

The police officer who set up a scheme to conserve sea eagles on the Isle of Mull has received a top wildlife crime award.

Pc Finlay Christine established Mull Eagle Watch in 1991.

The largest British birds of prey were reintroduced to Scotland in 1975, having become extinct 60 years earlier.

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said Pc Christine had worked tirelessly to protect a precious native bird.

Presenting him with the Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator of the Year Award at a ceremony at the Scottish Police College, Ms Cunningham said: "Wildlife crime continues to threaten Scotland's rare species and it is dedicated people like Mr Christine who are at the forefront of efforts to tackle it."

Became extinct 1916
Re-introduced 1975
200 now in Scotland

Mull Eagle Watch is a partnership involving the Forestry Commission, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scottish Natural Heritage, Mull and Iona Community Trust and Strathclyde Police.

The award was made by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (Paw), which was set up by Scotland's police forces and other law enforcement agencies to clamp down on wildlife crime.

Pc Christine is one of 80 dedicated wildlife crime officers spread around the eight Scottish forces.

Much of their work, both in prevention and detection of wildlife offences, involves working in partnership with other agencies.

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