Campaigners are calling on the Scottish Government to introduce an independent monitoring system to track tagged birds of prey.
The Tayside and Central Scotland Moorland Group says the move would stop the finger being pointed at landowners every time a raptor disappears over their ground.
It comes after The Courier revealed a golden eagle roosting near Loch Tay has been reported as missing from tracking technology.
It is the latest in a number of tagged birds to vanish over grouse shooting estates in recent years.
The group says there are a range of factors which could lead to the birds’ disappearance from mapping, and independent tracking would help put the estates it represents in the clear.
A spokesman said tags can lose solar energy in remote locations and in winter, causing intermittent signalling before they restart weeks or even months later.
In one case in October 2018, staff at Glenalmond Estate were told a goshawk had ceased sending a signal from its tag on their ground.
Four months later, police informed estate officials that the bird’s tag batteries had kicked back into action and it was still alive.
The moorland group says police have found no evidence of two golden eagles which went missing near Auchnafree Estate near Dunkeld last year, but local residents have had allegations made against them by campaigners who want grouse shooting to be licensed.
The Scottish Gamekeepers Association tabled a Parliamentary petition last September calling for independent monitoring of satellite tags to assist with police and court operations, as well as providing data transparency.
A spokesperson for the moorland group said: “Campaign groups, who fit the tags, claim persecution has occurred every time a tag stops abruptly.
“They believe this is happening to add political urgency to demands for the licensing of grouse moors.
“Tag malfunctions and bird deaths from natural causes are rarely mentioned by campaign groups, yet they are all recognised factors in tags stopping.”
The satellite tagging of raptors is carried out under licence by the British Trust for Ornithology and Scotish Natural Heritage and funded by a number of organisations, which own the data they collect.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “While satellite tags are fitted to birds of prey for research purposes, data has been a useful tool in detecting wildlife crime. Police Scotland, who act independently of Ministers, investigate all allegations of raptor persecution and have been trained to independently assess tag data.
“The Independent Grouse Moor Management Group report, which was published on 19 December 2019, made recommendations on the sharing of data for satellite tagged birds of prey, and the Scottish Government will publish our formal response to those recommendations in due course.”
In May 2017 the Scottish Government published the report, Analyses of the fates of satellite tracked golden eagles in Scotland, which found almost a third of satellite tagged golden eagles disappeared in suspicious circumstances on or near driven grouse moors.