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Last Updated: Friday, 14 July 2006, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Ospreys wing their way to Spain
Roy Dennis of Highland Foundation for Wildlife with osprey chick
Highland Foundation for Wildlife's Roy Dennis with one of the chicks
Five osprey chicks have begun their journey from Scotland to Spain as part of a reintroduction project.

The birds have been collected from locations in Moray, Badenoch and Strathspey and Inverness.

The last two were taken from a secret Forestry Commission Scotland site near Fort Augustus, Loch Ness-side, on Thursday.

They were taken on a BA flight from Inverness to Gatwick on Friday morning, before flying on to Malaga.

The project involves the Andalucian government, Donana Biological Station in southern Spain and the Highland Foundation for Wildlife.

This flight from Inverness is part of an important restoration project for southern European ospreys
Roy Dennis
Highland Foundation for Wildlife

The chicks will later be taken from Malaga to a release site at a water reservoir near Cadiz. They will be joined by other young ospreys from Finland and Germany until they are ready for release.

Ospreys breed in Scotland and winter in west Africa, mainly Gambia and Senegal.

Dr Hugh Insley, head of forest management for the Forestry Commission, said: "We have been involved with the Spanish reintroduction project since 2004 and first provided an osprey chick from Moray for relocation.

"We are delighted to be able to provide more chicks to continue to help this project."

Roy Dennis, from the Highland Foundation for Wildlife, who has been advising the commission on the project, added: "Ospreys were persecuted to extinction in much of southern Europe during the first part of the 20th Century.

"This flight from Inverness is part of an important restoration project for southern European ospreys.

"A similar project began this summer in Italy, where French and Italian ornithologists trans-located young ospreys from Corsica to La Maremma National Park in Tuscany.

"The Highland Foundation for Wildlife helped with the planning and development of this project as well."


SEE ALSO
Osprey chicks to take flight soon
11 Jul 06 |  South of Scotland
Osprey return sparks celebrations
06 Jul 06 |  Leicestershire
Ospreys get clean bill of health
05 Jul 06 |  Cumbria

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