The Return of the Golden Eagle in the Czech Republic – project

[singlepic id=350 w=210 h=158 float=left]This project is being carried out by a non-governmental organization in cooperation with state authorities for protection of nature in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Participants in the project also include Ostrava ZOO and other institutions and specialists.

In the Beginning

The golden eagle reintroduction project has been under way inside the Czech Republic since the mid 90s of the last century, the real “take off” of the young birds however, did not occur until August, 2006.[singlepic id=355 w=210 h=158 float=right]

History of Golden Eagles in the Czech Republic

The golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos Linnaeus, 1758) vanished as a nesting species from the Czech countryside at the turn of 19th and 20th century, the reason for that being undoubtedly human factors.

The Project

[singlepic id=351 w=210 h=158 float=right]This ethical dimension is in fact one of the main reasons for this project – the correction of mistakes that had been made in the past. The second reason is purely biological. There has been a considerable gap due to the continual absence of this top-of-the-food chain predator in our mountainous and foothill regions, absence which was interrupted only by occasional migration from Slovakia during their after nesting roams. The third essential reason is environmental and promotional. The golden eagle being a flagship species attracts media and public attention which allows us to  promote a greater interest in the issue of nature protection and landscape preservation.[singlepic id=353 w=210 h=158 float=right

The project is based on the fact that the golden eagle is a conservative species, tightly bonded to its birthplace where it, reaching adulthood, returns and occupies a vacant nesting territory or settles on its boundaries.

Young eaglets (sc. the second and weaker one!) are collected from nests in Slovakia, carefully picked out in advance, when they are approximately 5 days old at which point no killing (Cain and Able) of the younger and weaker chick by its older and stronger sibling or one of its parents is imminent. These field procedures, including careful monitoring and mapping of nest sites, is carried out, as agreed, by the State nature preservation of Slovakia. The project itself does not threaten in any way the existing Carpathian population of the golden eagle, on the contrary, it promotes its spread and stabilisation. Collected chicks are temporarily housed in a Rescue Station in Zázrivá and from there they are transported to the Rescue Station in Bartošovice in Moravia. A foster-mother (handicapped golden eagle female called Dina or foster mother in Zázrivá called Zoja) takes care of them and feeds them, taking turns with station keepers. Deliberately, the contact with humans is greatly minimized. When the young birds are 55-60 days old, which means they can feed by themselves and regulate their body temperature, they are transported into a releasing aviary, built-in a peripheral part of the Beskydy Mountains, North West Moravia.

The aviary is 10 x 8 x 3 metres  big.  At the age of 85 – 95 days the young birds are released into the wild. They imprint on this area as the place of their birth.

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They are given additional food for several months on the site and its surroundings until they can take complete care of themselves.

All young eagles have been fitted with transmitters and systematically monitored. The batteries in transmitters can last 4-5 years. Three eagles have been fitted with satellite transmitters.

It goes without saying that all golden eagles have been ringed and implanted with a particular marking – microchips. Moreover, their blood samples for DNA analysis were collected.

View courtship display Beskydy Mountains, North West Moravia.:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4M-dBvc3ZY&feature=player_embedded

Poisoned eagles,kites and saker falcons Beskydy Mountains: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2p4HKZk21U&feature=player_detailpage

The day of release: Beskydy Mountains: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gql1fRANHo0&feature=player_detailpage

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The overview of released eagles and further information on present results of the project:
2006 – 4 young birds released ( Ana, Babka, Cecilka and David )
2007 – 3 young birds released ( Filoména, Gaba, Hanka )
2008 – 4 young birds released ( Charlie, Isabela, Jakub and Kika )
2009 – 2 young birds released ( Lia, Miko )

Losses so far:
Female Gaba poisoned in September, 2009.
Male Miko – heart failure in December, 2009.
 

In 2010, after more than 100 years absence from the Czech Republic, our first nesting of golden eagles was observed, the nesting pair being eagles released – male David (born in 2006) and female Filoména (born in 2007).

[singlepic id=356 w=210 h=158 float=left]The nesting was not successful due to their immaturity, the eggs were not fertilized. Another, not stable pair at present, makes female Isabela (born in 2008) and wild male Kysuan (born in 2005). Also our female called Cecilka (born in 2006) has paired with a wild male, without nesting  so far. Other birds are monitored on regular basis as well as very irregular basis and have not occupied a territory yet.

Related Video Golden Eagle project Beskedy Mountains Moravia CZ (sorry not in English but the footage is well worth the time to watch and enjoy)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GyXAbhsh-o&feature=player_embedded

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dda0ZEPWwhc&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvlbje_c6CU&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4AUKAwlMnY&feature=player_embedded

Text: Petr Orel

Translation: Mgr.Eliška Pernická  

Video: Enrico Gombala

Photo: ZO ?SOP Nový Ji?ín

Projekt je spolufinancován z evropského fondu pro regionální rozvoj

Generálním partnerem projektu je:
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