Category Archives: Conservation

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)

Very good year for Eastern Imperial Eagles in Bulgaria

The breeding season 2009 was very good for the Eastern Imperial Eagle in Bulgaria. 20 young eagles fledged which is a new record. 6 of the nests were guarded by volunteers of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and 8 young eagles fledged from those nests.
7 of the 20 young eagles are tagged with satellite transmitters to learn more about their survival and movements.

This is great news. Another record was achieved in Austria where 4 successful pairs raised 9 young. This is a success rate of 2.25 young fledged for every successful pair.

More information about the good news from Bulgaria:
Successful breeding season for Imperial Eagles in Bulgaria

Hungarian Saker Falcon in Spain

The Saker Falcon Falco Cherrug is a globally endangered raptor species. In Europe, there are only about 450 breeding pairs. During the last years, the populations in Hungary, Austria and Slovakia have increased.
In order to learn more about the endangered falcons and the biology, some birds in Hungary have been fitted with a satellite transmitter. This allows to gain exact knowledge about the movements of the birds. If a bird dies, the cause of death can often be found out. This provides crucial information for conservation projects.

Detailed information about the work can be found on the project’s website.

A very interesting dispersal route was taken by one female Saker Falcon who moved to Spain and has already spend some time there (the bird appeared there in early August).

This shows that a Saker Falcon who is seen far away from it’s breeding area in eastern Europe is not always an escaped falconry bird.

More information:

Conservation of Saker (Falco cherrug) in the Carpathian Basin

Satellite-tracked Hungarian Saker (Falco cherrug) in N Spain