Recently fledged young Saker Falcon, Austria. © Richard Zink
The Saker Falcon was almost extinct in Austria in the seventies and it is a rare species over most of it’s range and currently classified as Endangered by Birdlife International. Thanks to conservation efforts in Austria and also neighboring countries like Slovakia and Hungary the population has increased and in 2012 a new record was achieved with 26 pairs raising 37 young.
This is a great success for the globally endangred species.
Conservation efforts includ monitoring during the breeding season and putting up nest platforms on electricity pylons. The nest platforms help to increase the breeding success as they are safer during storms and not accessible to predators like martens or humans who want to steal the egg or young.
The breeding areas in eastern Austria are great for the Saker Falcons with plenty of prey like pigeons and young hares. They also benefit from habitat improvements made for other species like the Great Bustard as this increases the prey base.
More information (in German) can be found here:
Rekordjahr für den Sakerfalken: 37 Jungvögel in Österreich