Category Archives: Interviews

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

Date of the interview: 03 September 2009

The Lesser Spotted Eagle is the most endangered raptor in Germany. In the Red List for Germany, the species is in category 1 (“critically endangered”).
NABU has been working for years to protect the small eagle species. In this interview, Britta Gronewold from NABU explains the current status of the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Germany, what must be done for it’s conservation and what NABU is doing for the Lesser Spotted Eagle.

Britta Gronewold

Britta Gronewold vom NABU

Markus Jais: What is the current situation for the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Germany?
Britta Gronewold: The population has declined steeply during the last ten years. In the last year, only 102 territories were occupied. About 80 of them are in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the others are in Brandenburg. In 2008, 81 territories where occupied in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, but only 50 young eagles fledged.

Markus Jais: What habitat does the Lesser Spotted Eagle need?
Britta Gronewold: Lesser Spotted Eagle are very sensitive birds. For breeding they need habitat that is free of disturbance. They prefer well structured deciduous forests mixed with wet areas like wet meadows or alder swamps. Beside the breeding habitat, hunting areas are important. Here, the eagles need meadows and marshes. It’s important that the vegetation is not too high. Because of this, the meadows should be mowed when the young eagles hatch. Of course, fields are also used but they are, especially later in the year, overgrown too densely, so that the Lesser Spotted Eagles can’t hunt there anymore.

Griever Holz

Griever Holz, © Britta Gronewold

Markus Jais: Which food does the Lesser Spotted Eagle need?
Britta Gronewold: The food of the Lesser Spotted Eagle is very versatile. The most important food are voles and other small mammals. But frogs and snakes are taken, too.

Markus Jais: Was threatens the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Germany?
Britta Gronewold: The most serious threat is the lack of suitable habitat. Where are today large, well structured deciduous forests free of disturbance? The landscape is more and more fragmented. Most forests are managed intensively. Many Lesser Spotted Eagle nests are found in protected areas which are not completely drained and managed less intensively.

Markus Jais: The impressive White-tailed Eagle is much better known among the public. Is it important for the Lesser Spotted Eagle to get more public attention?
Britta Gronewold: Sure! Many people don’t even know about Lesser Spotted Eagle and how special it is if they can actually see one. Still, we don’t want to offer large scale Lesser Spotted Eagle safaris. The bird is simply to sensitive. Even a small disturbance can lead the bird to give up it’s territory and never come back. Instead, we use flyers, articles in newspapers and our website www.schreiadlerschutz.de to inform people.

Griever Holz

Griever Holz, © Britta Gronewold

Markus Jais: What exactly does NABU do to protect the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Germany?
Britta Gronewold: Beside the already mentioned information and education program, we try to buy valuable habitat for the Lesser Spotted Eagle and save it permanently for conservation. One example is the nature reserve Griever Holz near Rostock. Lesser Spotted Eagles have been breeding there for many years. Currently, NABU owns about half of the 200 ha of the reserve. When we own the habitat, we can do what we want with it. That is, we can just leave it to itself. That way, a beautiful and natural deciduous forests can develop. Beside that, we want to remove the drainage in large parts of the Griever Holz.

Markus Jais: What other species benefit from the conservation work, for example in the Griever Holz?
Britta Gronewold: Naturla deciduous forests, of course, not only are a valuable habitat for Lesser Spotted Eagles but also for many other species. In the Griever Holz Black Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Stock Pigeon, Eurasian Hobby and Common Crane occur. Black Storcks should also be breeding there, but so far, they are only visitors. In the holes of the woodpeckers there are bats and Edible Dormice. The wet parts are important for many amphibians. And the moors in the forest are habitat for many rare plants.

Griever Holz

Griever Holz, © Klemens Karkow

Markus Jais: Private NGOs alone can’t save the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Germany. What must state and society do to protect the species?
Britta Gronewold: In Generall, the state must make nature conservation a lot more important. But nature conservation doesn’t yield a lot of money. For the state, protecting forests means to loose income from forestry. But we all have a responsibility for future generations. And, at the latest since since the discussion about climate change, it should be clear that nature also has a financial value. That forests can save CO2 is only one example.
Until 2010, that is next year, the loss of biodiversity should be stopped – a European Union wide goal, which will definitely not be reached.

Markus Jais: What must happen on an international level?
Britta Gronewold: International work is very important for the conservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle. Lesser Spotted Eagles are migratory birds who spend the winter in east African savannahs south of the Equator. Unfortunately, there are still regions on the migration route in which intensive bird hunting is practiced. This year, again a Lesser Spotted Eagle with a transmitter was killed in the Middle East. Of course, those birds are only the tip of the iceberg. Beside the migration route, the wintering areas are important, too. How are the conditions there? Not much is known about that.

Markus Jais: What was your most amazing experiecen with Lesser Spotted Eagles?
Britta Gronewold: It was during an excursion throught the Griever Holz during a sunny day in late summer. The young eagle has already fledged and was flying with one of it’s parents. We could watch both for at least 20 minutes as they flew past us, made their typical “tjück” calls and chased away a Common Buzzard. I’ve never better seen Lesser Spotted Eagles.

Markus Jais: Britta, thank you very much for the interview

Further Information

Lesser Spotted Eagle species acount on europearaptors.org

schreiadlerschutz.de – Website about the Lesser Spotted Eagle conservation work done by NABU/Birdlife Germany

New interview with Peter Dare about the ecology and conservation of the Common Buzzard

I am happy to announce a new interview with Peter Dare about the ecology and conservation of the Common Buzzard. Peter talks about the ecology and conservation of this fascinating raptor, his research over many decades and his new book “The Life of Buzzards” (which I highly recommend to everyone interesting in this fascinating raptor).

The interview can be found here:
Interview with Peter Dare about the ecology and conservation of the Common Buzzard”>

More information about Peter’s book can be found here at the publisher’s website:
The Life of Buzzards

New interview with Gregorio Moreno-Rueda about the Short-toed Eagle in Spain and it’s impact on snake biodiversity

A new interview about the Short-toed Eagle in Spain and it’s possible influences on snake biodiversity has just been published.

The Short-toed Eagle in Spain and it’s impact on snake biodiversity.

In this interview Gregorio shares his knowledge about the feeding ecology of Short-toed Eagles in Spain, their threats, why they lay only one egg and how the future looks like for those impressive raptors in Spain.

Gregorio also talks about the possible impact of Short-toed Eagles on snake biodiversity.

Research has shown again and again how important top predators are. Most studies involve large carnivores like wolves, pumas or tigers. But eagles may play a similar role in some landscapes.

It could be possible that other snake eating eagles (e.g. Crested Eagle and Solitary in the Neotropics or other Snake Eagles in Africa/Asia) might have a similar influence on snake species. Unfortunately I don’t know if this has ever been studied.

New Interview with Daróczi J. Szilárd and Zeitz Róbert about the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Romania

 

Lesser Spotted Eagle chick in the nest .
© Zeitz Róbert

I am happy to announce another interview, this time with Daróczi J. Szilárd and Zeitz Róbert about the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Romania.
The Lesser Spotted Eagle has it’s breeding population entirely in Europe (while migrating to Africa). The Indian species, Aquila hastata is no longer consider to be a subspecies but a full species on it’s own, the Indian Spotted Eagle.

Because of this, Europe has a great responsibility protecting the species. And Romania has more breeding pairs than most countries and plays an important role in the future of the species.

In this new interview, Daróczi J. Szilárd and Zeitz Róbert talk about the current situation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Romania, threats, necessary conservation measures and a LIFE projects they are working on.

You an also learn about what food the eagles eat or what is known about the movement of the birds.

See the interview here:
New Interview with Daróczi J. Szilárd and Zeitz Róbert about the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Romania

New interview with Vitaly Vetrov about the Eastern Imperial Eagle in Ukraine

Another interview about the Eastern Imperial Eagle in available:

Interview with Vitaly Vetrov about the Eastern Imperial Eagle in Ukraine

In this interview Vitaly Vetrov talks about the current situation, population development, threats and future of the Eastern Imperial Eagle in the Ukraine and also gives a short overview about the status of the Steppe Eagle.

The interview is also available in Russian.

New interview with Dimitar Demerdjiev about the Eastern Imperial Eagle in Bulgaria

 

Eastern Imperial Eagle.
© Svetoslav Spasov

The Eastern Imperial Eagle is a globally threatened species with only a few hundred pairs breeding in Europe. A lot of conservation work is done for the species in countries like Hungary, Slovakia or Ukraine.
In Bulgaria the Bulgarian Society for the Potection of Birds (BSPB) and other organisations have been working for many years to protect the small Bulgarian population.

In a new interview, Dimitar Demerdjiev from the (BSPB) talks about biology and conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle in Bulgaria. Dimitar explains the food and habitat requirements, threats like cultivation of habitat, wind farms, reduction of prey species, what the BSPS is doing and much more.

The interview can be found here:

Interview with Dimitar Demerdjiev about the Eastern Imperial Eagle in Bulgaria

Also make sure to visit the following website of the BSPB about Eastern Imperial Eagles and Saker Falcons in Bulgaria:
Conservation of Imperial Eagle and Saker Faclon in Bulgaria

Information about how to support the BSPB can be found on their website (their is an icon for an English version of the website in the top right corner).
http://bspb.org/index.php

More interviews about the Eastern Imperial eagle can be found on the species account on europeanraptors.org (scroll down a bit):
Eastern Imperial Eagle species account

New Interview with Emilian Stoynov about the Eurasian Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria

 

The aclimatization aviary in Kresna Gorge.
© Hristo Peshev

Vultures are an important indicator of a healthy ecosystem. In Europe, vultures today are endangered or extinct in most countries. A lot of conservation work is going on to, protect, restore and increase populations.

In this new interview, Emilian Stoynov from the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna (FWFF) talks about the situation of Griffon Vultures in Bulgaria, what threats they face and what is done for their conservation.
Part of the conservation work is a reintroduction program which is explained in detail in the interview.

To read the interview, click here:

Interview with Emilian Stoynov about the Eurasian Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria

Please consider making a donation to the FWFF to support their conservation work. More information about their work and how you can support FWFF can be found here:
Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna (FWFF)

New Interview with Sean Walls about the Common Buzzard in UK

 

Sean with Common Buzzard
© Peter Bell

The Common Buzzard is a widespread and often common raptor across most parts of Europe. In the UK, it is one of the most common raptors and the population has increased considerably during the last decades.

In this latest interview, Common Buzzard expert Sean Walls talks about the current situation of the Common Buzzard in the UK and also about it’s habitat requirements, food, dispersal and more.

Recently, some people in the UK demanded to make the shooting of Common Buzzards legal again. Sean explains what this could mean for the conservation of the Common Buzzard.

The Common Buzzard is a fascinating raptor and while not as large or impressive as a Golden Eagle, it has a interesting biology and shows many fascinating behaviors like worming, es explained and shown in Sean’s interview.

To learn more about the Common Buzzard in the UK and it’s biology and conservation, read the interview here:
Interview with Sean Walls about the Common Buzzard in UK

New Interview with Alv Ottar Folkestad about the White-tailed Eagle in Norway

 

White-tailed Eagle chick in nest

White-tailed Eagle chick in nest
© Alv Ottar Folkestad

I am happy to announce a new interview, this time about the White-tailed Eagle in Norway.

The White-tailed Eagle is one of the largest eagles in the world with a wingspan of up to around 245cm. During the last decades, the species has increased dramatically in many countries. In Europe, the largest population lives in Norway where Alv Ottar Folkestad has been studying the species for many years.

In this new interview, Alv explains the current situation of the White-tailed Eagle in Norway, how the population has developed over the last years, what threat’s it faces in the future (incl. wind farms) and why the European Otter is important for the White-tailed Eagle in Norway and many other interesting facts about this spectacular species.

See the interview for more information:

Interview with Alv Ottar Folkestad about the White-tailed Eagle in Norway

New Interview Pascual López about power lines and raptors in Spain

 

Spanish Imperial Eagles on corrected pylon

Spanish Imperial Eagles on corrected pylon
© EBD-CSIC

A new and very important interview in now available:

Interview Pascual López about power lines and raptors in Spain

In this interview, raptor Researcher Pascual López talks about power lines and raptors in Spain.
Around the world, power lines have long been a serious problem for raptor conservation (and other large birds like Great Bustards or White Storks). Either the birds collide with the power lines or they get electrocuted on dangerous pylons.

In Spain the problem is affecting many raptor species, including the rare and endangered Spanish Imperial Eagle and Bonelli’s Eagle, both species loosing many birds to electrocution.

But much can be done if some money is available and there is the will of governments and companies to make the world a little better for raptors.

Pascual describes in detail the situation in Spain and how it affects raptors, especially the Spanish Imperial Eagle and the Bonelli’s Eagle. He also explains what pylons are the most dangerous one, what must be done to make those safe for raptors and what already has been and is currently beeing done in Spain.

Also have a look at Pascual’s website (link at bottom of the interview) to find many interesting publications about raptors.