All posts by Markus Jais

Two dead Bearded Vultures in the Pyrenees

In the Pyrenees, two dead Beared Vultures have been found. One juvenile with an age of 5 month died because of collision with power lines. The other bird was an adult that died in France. The cause of death is investigated in the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre de la Alfranca (Zaragoza).

In the French Pyrenees, in 2009, 32 territories were occupied and 11 young bearded vultures fledged.

More information (in Spanish):
http://www.quebrantahuesos.org/htm/es/noticias/control?zone=pub&sec=not&pag=ver&id=537&loc=es

Toxicological sampling and ringing of all juvenile Egyptian Vultures in Bulgaria

The Egyptian Vulture is one of the most endangered raptors in Europe. Illegal poisoning and habitat loss are a constant threat in many areas.

Another threat are high levels of toxic substances in the birds, like pathogens of poultry and pigeons, antibiotics and non-steroidal antiinflamatory drugs. Those substances have been found in Egyptian Vultures in Bulgaria. (see here for details).

In order to find out more about that problem, this year, BSPB (Birdlife Bulgaria) did a made toxicology sampling of all 25 unfledged juvenile vultures this year. Also, all birds were ringed.

The toxicological samples will be analysed in Madrid, Spain. The final results of this study will be published in 2010.

The Egyptian Vulture has declined dramatically in Bulgaria. From 2003 to 2008, the species declined from 57 to 35 pairs. The high levels of toxins probably play an important role in the species’ decline.

More information:
Alarming results from toxicology study on the Egyptian vulture in Bulgaria
BSPB made toxicology sampling and ringed all juvenile Egyptian Vultures in Bulgaria

Interview about Eastern Imperial Eagle in Austria published

I just published another interview on europeanraptors.org.
This one is with Gabor Wichmann from Birdlife Austria about the current status and conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle in Austria.

The interview:
Interview with Gabor Wichmann from Birdlife Austria about the conservation of the Eastern Imperail Eagle in Austria

More interviews, including about Eastern Imperial Eagles, will be published soon.

New record year for White-tailed Eagles in Schleswig-Holstein (northern Germany)

Another great year for the White-tailed Sea Eagle in Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany.
With only a few pairs in the 1970s, the Sea Eagle was close to extinction in West Germany. But since then, the population has increased dramatically and in 2009, 63 pairs occupied a territory. That’s an increase of 6 pairs compared to 2008.
54 pairs started breeding and 40 of them finished it and raised 68 young eagles. That’s 8 less than in 2008 but still a very good breeding success.
The population of the White-tailed Eagle (or Sea Eagle) was about 600 pairs in 2008 in Germany. It is very likely that this year the number will be even higher, especially when the results in other states are as encouraging as those in Schleswig-Holstein.

More information about the conservation of the White-tailed Eagle in Schleswig-Holstein can be found here:
www.projektgruppeseeadlerschutz.de

Upcoming book: The Eagle Watchers

The Eagle Watchers

The Eagle Watchers

There will be a new book published in April 2010 about eagle conservation and research around the world. It is called “The Eagle Watchers” and is edited by Ruth Tingay and Todd Katzner.

In the book 29 biologists tell stories about 24 eagle species on 6 continents.
European species covered in the book are:

  • Golden Eagle
  • White-tailed Eagle
  • Lesser Spotted Eagle
  • Eastern Imperial Eagle
  • Spanish Imperial Eagle

Many other fascinating eagle species are covered including Martial Eagle, Harpy Eagle, African Crowned Eagle and many more.

More information about the book:
Publication Date: Apri 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8014-4873-7
Published by Cornel University Press
Publisher’s Website about the book

PDF Flyer
flyer_eagle_watchers.pdf

Table of contents:

PREFACE
Ruth Tingay & Todd Katzner

FOREWORD
Keith Bildstein & Jemima Parry-Jones

CHAPTER 1: EAGLE DIVERSITY, ECOLOGY & CONSERVATION
Todd Katzner & Ruth Tingay

CHAPTER 2: NEW GUINEA HARPY EAGLE
Mark Watson (New Guinea)
Martin Gilbert (New Guinea)

CHAPTER 3: GOLDEN EAGLE
Carol McIntyre (Alaska)
Jeff Watson (Scotland)

CHAPTER 4: LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE
Bernd Meyburg (Czechoslovakia & Germany)

CHAPTER 5: WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE
Penny Olsen (Australia)

CHAPTER 6: MADAGASCAR SERPENT EAGLE
Sarah Karpanty (Madagascar)

CHAPTER 7: BALD EAGLE
Al Harmata (USA)
Teryl Grubb (USA)

CHAPTER 8: VERREAUX’S EAGLE
Rob Davies (South Africa)

CHAPTER 9: EASTERN IMPERIAL EAGLE
Todd Katzner (Kazakhstan)

CHAPTER 10: STELLER’S SEA EAGLE
Keisuke Saito (Japan)

CHAPTER 11: SPANISH IMPERIAL EAGLE
Miguel Ferrer (Spain)

CHAPTER 12: MADAGASCAR FISH EAGLE
Ruth Tingay (Madagascar)

CHAPTER 13: AFRICAN CROWNED EAGLE
Susanne Shultz (Ivory Coast)

CHAPTER 14: GREY-HEADED FISH EAGLE
Malcolm Nicoll (Cambodia)

CHAPTER 15: WAHLBERG’S EAGLE
Rob Simmons (South Africa)

CHAPTER 16: SOLITARY EAGLE
Bill Clark (Mexico)

CHAPTER 17: JAVAN HAWK EAGLE
Vincent Nijman (Indonesia)

CHAPTER 18: AFRICAN FISH EAGLE
Munir Virani (Kenya)

CHAPTER 19: BATELEUR
Rick Watson (South Africa)

CHAPTER 20: HARPY EAGLE
Janeene Touchton (Panama)

CHAPTER 21: WHITE-BELLIED SEA EAGLE
Jason Wiersma (Tasmania)

CHAPTER 22: MARTIAL EAGLE
Andrew Jenkins (South Africa)

CHAPTER 23: WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE
Justin Grant (Scotland)
Bjorn Helander (Sweden)
John Love (Scotland)

CHAPTER 24: BLACK AND CHESTNUT EAGLE
Ursula Valdez (Peru)

CHAPTER 25: PHILIPPINE EAGLE
Hector Miranda (Philippines)

APPENDIX 1: CONSERVATION STATUS OF THE WORLD’S EAGLES
FURTHER READING

Aluminium nest boxes for Saker Falcons installed in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Society for the protection of birds (BSPB) has installed a new type of 20 aluminium nest boxes for the Saker Falcon in Bulgaria. The new nest boxes were designed during the Saker Falcon conservation project in Hungary.
The new nests long life aluminium constructions with roofs and two side protection from unfavourable atmospheric conditions. They are installed one high-voltage electric pylons.
In 2008, more than 100 nest boxes of an older, metal and wooden type, were installed.
BSPB hopes that this will help to increase the currently very low population of only 6-7 pairs of Saker Falcons in Bulgaria.

More information including many interesting pictures:
BSPB installed the first for Bulgaria aluminum nest boxes for saker falcon (Falco cherrug)

Interview about Lesser Spotted Eagles in Germany published

The first interview on europeanraptors.org is online:

Interview with Britta Gronewold from NABU/Birdlife Germany about the conservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Germany.

It contains interesting information about the current situation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Germany and explains what NABU/Birdlife Germany is doing to protect the species.

More interviews coming soon.

Green Balkans Federation starts new project for Lesser Kestrel, Cinereous Vulture and Eastern Imperial Eagle

The organisation Green Balkans started a new project called “Conservation activities for EEC Birds Directive target species – Lesser Kestrel, Black Vulture and Imperial Eagle in their main habitats in Bulgaria”. The project is supported by the European union. (Black Vulture is another name for the Cinereous Vulture).

All the species are endangered in Europe. The main goals for the project are:

  • support and maintenance of the populations of rare bird species included in the EEC Birds Directive (79/409/ЕЕС) and their habitats
  • creating conditions for increasing their numbers and restoring their populations in their former habitats
  • reducing the conflict between the target species and the realization of investment intentions and projects
  • increasing the nesting success of the breeding Imperial eagles and Black vultures
  • improving the conditions for nesting of the target species
  • “ex-situ” activities for restoring the population of the Lesser Kestrel
  • identification of areas from the habitats of the target species sensitive to investment intentions
  • raising the public awareness on the aims and effects of raptor conservation and biodiversity protection in general
  • All three species were a lot more widespread on the Balkan in the past. The new project is an important steps towards securing and improving the future of those raptors on the Balkan.

    More information:
    Green Balkans Federation started a European project for the conservation of threatened bird species

RSPB publishes bird crime report

Sadly, illegal persecution and killing of birds, including raptors, is still not a thing from the past. The RSPB hast just published a new report about bird crime which includes 210 reports of crimes against raptors. A special report about the illegal killing of raptors in Scotland 2008 is also available.

At least the following birds were victims of illegal poisoning in Scotland.

  • 1 white-tailed eagle
  • 2 Red Kites
  • 14 Commonn Buzzards
  • 3 Ravens

The real number is probably much higher.
Other birds where shot, including hen harriers.

More information:

RSPB news about new bird crime report
Bird Crime Report (PDF)
The illegal killing of birds of prey in Scotland 2008 (PDF)