On behalf of the MME/Birdlife Hungary, the Medián opinion polls and market research Institute carried out research on the familiarity of birds of prey in Hungary. This study was realized within the framework of LIFE10NAT/HU/000019 „Helicon-Conservation of the Imperial Eagle in Hungary” LIFE+ project of MME.
The data collection was done by personally interviewing 1200 people representing the adult population of the country .
Based on the results, Eagles are the first thoughts, when people think of birds of prey. However, they usually cannot specify them more than using the names of the species-groups in general. The most well-known species was the White-tailed Eagle, which was the only species preceding other collective terms like Eagle, Falcon, Hawk or Kestrel.
Second species in publicity is the Imperial Eagle, which is known more than Buzzards and is equally known to Falcons and Hawks. To the question which Eagle species holds the largest population in Hungary of the whole EU, the answer was, the White-tailed Eagle.
More than half of the people are aware of that lots of raptors –among them numerous Imperial Eagles- fall victims to direct poisoning in Hungary. The most knowledgeable are the graduates, the people older than 50 years and the ones living in the countryside. Nevertheless, there are great differences between regions, as well.
They named agronomists in the first place and almost equally hunters as potential perpetrators of poisoning crimes. Majority of the people asked agreed on that direct poisoning should be penalized, 4 out of 10 people considered a 100.000 forints fine to be fair and about 3 out of 10 said that a prison sentence wouldn’t be too much penalty.
29% of the people asked didn’t know anything about the institutional background of the conservation of birds of prey and another 39% could only recognize a few organizations. All in all, one-third (32%) could spontaneously name a competent organization, most often the Bird Hospital Foundation in Hortobágy and the MME (Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society).