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It’s elementary, Dr Watson, you are the best.

Aigas Field Centre director Sir John Lister-Kaye said today, “It’s elementary, Dr Watson, you are the best.”   

Dr Jeff Watson, Regional Director of Scottish Natural Heritage for the Highlands, and world authority on golden eagles receives the RSPB Medal for his outstanding contribution to conservation ornithology. 

Sir John, who is one of Scotland’s best known naturalists and wildlife authors, and is also a Vice President of RSPB, accompanied Professor Ian Newton, Chairman of Council of RSPB to Jeff Watson’s Black Isle home today to present the world acclaimed ornithologist with the highly prestigious award for nature conservation. 

Endorsing the award, Sir John said, “It doesn’t need Sherlock Holmes to reveal Jeff’s exceptional contribution to the conservation of Scotland’s most iconic bird, the golden eagle.  A whole generation of wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists hold Jeff’s definitive work The Golden Eagle published by Poyser in 1997 to be a milestone in Highland natural history.  Following in the footsteps of H.B. Macpherson, Seton Gordon, Leslie Brown and Adam Watson, Jeff Watson is the recognized authority on golden eagles across the world.  This medal is richly deserved.

Dr Watson has also been a regular lecturer at Aigas Field Centre and has led many golden eagle expeditions in the field.  The Field Centre staff are delighted that Jeff has received this recognition for his work.

In response to the RSPB citation Jeff Watson said, “It is an extraordinary honour and a privilege to receive such profound appreciation from the RSPB.  As a conservation ornithologist I owe a huge debt to the way the Society has expanded global knowledge of bird conservation.  RSPB must never underestimate the importance of its leadership to us honest foot soldiers beavering away in the woods.

My father’s influence in my native Galloway was huge, so it is particularly poignant for me that just last week we heard that one of the adult Peebles eagles had been poisoned.  This vile practice is still far too prevalent in our uplands.  We must not stop working to stamp out this criminal and unacceptable activity altogether.          

Finally, many good friends and colleagues have supported me and my work down the years.  In receiving this medal it is important to me that their help and significance is fully acknowledged in my thanks and appreciation to you all today.  Sharing our passions and enthusiasms is at the heart of conservation.  Once again, thank you all so very much.”

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