Great success in national conservation! Rudolph, the poisoned and later rehabilitated Imperial Eagle, found a younger mate soon after his release. It is also pleasing that despite its poisoning and the additional stress they have even started to breed already!
MME/Birdlife launched its Life+ project, titled „Conservation of the Imperial Eagles in Hungary” (LIFE10NAT/HU/019), in which nature conservation experts were contracted to develop a Natura 2000 Management Plan for the Jászság SPA (HUHN10005) area.
Recent poisoning wave in Hungary took its next victims. In a hunting area in the Kiskunság, three Marsh Harriers, one Common Buzzard and a strictly protected Saker Falcon -which was fitted with a satellite transmitter- succumbed to poisoned baits put out intentionally.
The 10th National Eagle Census was organized by MME/Birdlife in collaboration with Directorates of National Parks and other NGOs. 298 people have participated in this year’s Eagle Count. The survey covered about 18.500 square-kilometers, including the most important Eagle wintering habitats. Monitoring of the Great Bustards was done parallel with that of the raptors.
It became clear during the last conference about illegal raptor poisonings in the Carpathian Basin that albeit this phenomenon exists in all neighbouring countries, the situation in Hungary is most severe. Only in the first quarter year of 2013, more than 50 protected birds of prey were poisoned in 21 incidents.
We participated in the Arms, Angling and Hunting International Exhibition again in 2013. Interested people could get information on bird conservation activities and find out more about the Bird of the Year, meanwhile our colleagues held presentations about our ongoing nature conservation projects.
There are several important wintering sites for Eagles in Hungary. Among them, the most numerous are the White-tailed Eagle consisting of lots of Northern European individuals. Majority of the immature, local Eastern Imperial Eagles spends the winter here, as well. Although, they are rare; Spotted Eagles and Golden Eagles occur occasionally on the Counts.
Common Buzzards keep continuing to be the most numerous victims of medium voltage pylons, along other strictly protected species, like those two satellite-tagged Imperial Eagles that were electrocuted in the past few weeks.
Following satellite tagged birds of prey and storks via the internet is now available for researchers and the public. In an international joint project, movement data and position of more than 80 individuals of 4 highly endangered bird species tagged in Central and Southeast-Europe is accessible on www.satellitetracking.eu.