Fall in number of Scotland’s poisoned birds of prey

18. April 2012

The Guardian reports a fall in number of Scotland’s poisoned birds of prey, possibly due to tougher new laws. It would be great if the trend continues and illegal killing of raptors will become a thing of the past in Scotland soon.
More information:
Dramatic fall in number of Scotland’s poisoned birds of prey.

Rat poison and it’s effect on raptors in Ireland

20. March 2012

An interesting new article about rat poisoning and it’s effect on raptors in Ireland has been published here.

Rat poison linked to decline in birds of prey

Bearded Vultures dies of lead poisoning in the Alps

13. March 2012

Lead poisoning is a serious threat for raptors in many places around the world and affects many species like White-tailed Eagles (most common cause of death in Germany), Bearded Vultures, Golden Eagles, California Condors or Steller’s Sea Eagles.

A recent case is about a Bearded Vulture that died from lead poisoning. The bird was part of the conservation program for the species in the Alpes and called Nicola.

More information in German can be found here:

In order to avoid those deaths in the future, lead ammunition should be made illegal across Europe and around the world.

Many raptors poisoned in Greece

1. March 2012

The following disturbing news was send to europeanraptors.org by Hans Jerrentrup, a conservationist working in Greece to protect raptors and other wildlife.

Two days ago in the SPA GR 112004 Nestos Gorge, in the ruins of an abandoned village, staff of the west Rodopes National park authority discovered two dead horses, deliberately killed and laced with poison (a white substance powder). The one that looked fresher was skinned skillfuly and the poison was spread on muscles and soft tissues. The count so far totals

1 adult and 1 immature griffon

3 adult and 1 immature golden eagles (two of them just consumed remains)

1 common buzzard still biting a beakful of bait

The toll on griffons is probably heavier judging from the havoc it recked on the local golden eagle population and the fact that the central part of the local colony instead of 7-8 pairs about to form one month ago has only two incubating birds, one flying around and not a single feather more. We will keep a close look on the colony in the coming week and let you know as soon as we have something more concrete.

The area of the incident has been searched extensively and we will be expanding in a wider field tomorrow, with staff from the nearest National Park Authorities and the forestry service. The latter is on the case, and investigations are under way. Guts from the stricken birds are on their way to toxicological labs in Athens.

At a first glance it looks definately as shepherds deed, and since there are not many around, it is possible that someone will be singled out in the process. We will keep you informed with the latest developments. A common press release from all involved organisations and carnivore conservation charities (Arktouros and Callisto) has been issued, while regional media allready have posted relevant reports

Also see this press release:


New website about wildlife poisoning in Spain

21. February 2012

The Life + “Action in the fight against illegal poison use in the natural environment in Spain” – Life+ VENENO – (LIFE08 NAT/E/000062) now has it’s own website.
It is mostly in Spanish with an English summary.


Illegal poisoning of wildlife is a serious problem in parts of Spain and has a negative impact on many species incl. the rare Cinereous Vulture and Spanish Imperial Eagle:

More information about illegal poisoning in Spain can also be found in this interview:
Interview with Beatriz Sanchez from SEO/BirdLife Spain about illegal raptor poisoning in Spain

New book about wildlife crime

12. February 2012

Wildlife crime is a serious threat in many places of the world. But it is not just the tigers, leopards or rhinos that get killed illegally.
Across Europe animals like wolves, otters or eagles are killed illegally – often simply because some people hate them.

A new book about wildlife crime in the UK, particularly in Scotland has now been published. It is written by Dick Dave, who was the RSPB’s Senior Scottish Investigation Officer between 1984 and 2006.

This is a very interesting new publication and should be of interested to anyone fighting against the illegal killing of raptors and other animals.

More information can be found on the books website:

and in this PDF:

Support the Belize Raptor Research Institute and raptor conservation in Belize

8. December 2011

The small neotropical country Belize is home to many rare and endangered animals like the Jaguar and raptors like the Harpy Eagle, Black Solitary Eagle and others.

The Belize Raptor Research Institute (BRRI) works to learn more about the raptors in Belize and to protect them.

The BRRI work on several projects on the moment, incl:

1) The Hawk-Eagle Program
A project to study the Black Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, and the Black and White Hawk Eagle. Not much is known about those species and everything the BRRI researchers can learn will help to protect those species.

2) The Solitary Eagle Project
The Black Solitary Eagle is a rare and hard to identify species found only locally across Central and parts of South America. The BRRI launched the Solitary Eagle Project in Belize as an effort to better understand this poorly known species, which is suffering from population declines for unknown reasons.

3) The Stygian Owl Project
This is another species about which not much is known. The BRRI has launched a study that will determine diet habits throughout the different seasons, relative density, habitat utilization, movement patterns, home-range and dispersal patterns of Stygian Owls.

You can learn more about the BRRI on their website and there you can also make a donation (see the “Donations” link at the top menu bar).

Belize Raptor Research Institute

Please consider making a donation, even small amounts of money will help!

The White-tailed Eagle as a flagship species for conservation along the Danube river

1. November 2011

The White-tailed Eagle is the largest eagle in Europe, females can reach a wingspan of a little over 250cm. Over the last decades the population has increased in most countries where the species occurs.

A major backbone for the species in Europe is the Danube river. It breeds in all countries along the Danube except Germany (it breeds in Germany but not yet at the Danube).

About 2 weeks ago, a conference was held close to the Duna-Dráva National Park (Hungary) about the conservation of this magnificent eagle.

Many experts got together and we learned a lot about recent population trends, projects and threats affecting the White-tailed Eagle. Here are some summaries from the talks:

  • Germany now has 700(!) pairs but not yet one at the Danube. This is for 2011. They are already regular winter visitors and several pairs in Bavaria are already quite close to the Danube so this is only a matter of time until Germany will also have White-tailed Eagles breeding along he Danube.
  • Lead poisoning is still a serious threat for White-tailed Eagles and other raptors.
  • A management plan has been written and was presented by Remo Probst (also see this interivew with Remo). The management plan will soon be published (I will announce it here once it is available)
  • In Romania there are still gaps in our knowledge about the species, particularly outside the Danube delta.
  • The White-tailed Eagle online database was announced. See here: White-taild Eagle online database .
  • The Austrian population has reached 14 pairs and 15 young fledged (the species was extinct in Austria and the first recolonising pair was observed in 1999).
  • The Hungarian population grew from about 20-30 pairs in the late 1980s to over 230 pairs in 2011.

The Danube Parks project has chosen the White-tailed Eagle as a flagship species for conservation along the Danube river and is working on projects to improve the conditions for the eagles and other species like the Danube sturgeons. This is a great network of protected areas and dedicated conservationists who have already achieved a lot and hopefully more projects will be realised in the coming years. The White-tailed Eagle is a great choice as a flagship species and from its protection many other species along the Danube river will benefit.

See the Danube Parks project website to learn more:
Danube Parks project

Irish Golden Eagle Project Summary 2001-2011

29. October 2011

The Golden Eagle Trust has published a summary of the Golden Eagle reintroduction project in Ireland for 2001 to 2011.
It contains breeding numbers, youngs fledged, birds released and much more. Illegal persecution is covered and at the end a summary for other raptor species like the Red Kite and the White-tailed Eagle is included.

Go here to read the full report:
Irish Golden Eagle Project Summary 2001-2011

A Conservation Framework for Hen Harriers in the United Kingdom published

23. October 2011

A recent and very important scientific publication providing a framework for the conservation of the Hen Harrier in the United Kingdom is available is a PDF download (90 pages).

To read and download the report, click here:
A Conservation Framework for Hen Harriers in the United Kingdom