This small viper is among the most threatened vertebrates of Europe. The current distribution of Vipera ursinii rakosiensis is very restricted, and outside Romania can only be found in Hungary, with only 11 populations. New data regarding the distribution of the Hungarian meadow viper is reported from Transylvania by Păun Georgiana and her colleagues. The distribution range of the subspecies in Transylvania was extended by the discovery of a southernmost population, identified using ecological niche modeling techniques and subsequent field inventory of suitable habitats, predicted by the model. Continue reading →
This year, the webcamera from Dumbrăvioara failed to offer us the show of raising stork chicks. Fortunately, a pair of young storks spent the summer in the nest, arranging it with different materials. We could see this as a possible sign that they’ll come back next year to nest. We thank all the stork lovers for their constant attention, but the law of Nature may result in such seasons too. We are optimistic about 2017! The webcam in Dumbrăvioara will remain online until de the end of August, when the storks will begin their long journey to the wintering grounds in Africa.
For the first time in Romania, the Milvus Group is monitoring the movement of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) by using GPS transmitters. Three eagles were fitted with such transmitters during the last year, in the Trascău Mountains area and in the Apuseni Natural Park. One bird managed to take off the device before leaving the nest, but the other eagles have provided relevant data, about the behaviour of these birds in the first months of life. Continue reading →
One of endangered bird species worldwide, the Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) recorded a significant increase in its national population, and specifically in the Western Plain. By 2000, there was no nesting pair in the area, and in the whole country only a few breeding pairs were known in the Măcinului mountains. In the last century, the Saker Falcon was quite widespread in Romania, but almost disappeared due to several threatening factors (poisoning, loss of nesting sites, expansion of agriculture, hunting).
As part of certain conservation efforts undertaken by the Milvus Group within a cross-border project, 80 artificial nest platforms were installed on high voltage electricity pylons in collaboration with the electricity transport and distribution companies, , mostly in Timiș and Arad counties. If in 2011 only one nesting pair was registered, in 2012 – two, in 2015 the numbers started to grow, last year – eight pairs, and this year at least 14! The Saker Falcon in natural conditions breeds in other birds nests (especially species of crows or other birds of prey), but they adapt easily to artificial nests too. In the western plains, the number of natural nests is very low, due to the lack of trees. Thus, our intervention (by placing artificial nests) was required, to facilitate the nesting of the species in the Western Plain. Without these measures, the birds have had no chance for nesting in the area!
This year, most of these nestlings will be colour-ringed in order to monitor the Saker population in Romania.
In order to improve conservation measures, countries with significant populations of Saker Falcons compiled an Action Plan which gives specific direction to the conservation efforts in the European Union. The development of the AP was conducted by experts from Hungary because this country has the largest population of Saker Falcons in Europe.
Our Hungarian neighbours, have the greatest experience with this species, due to the conservation measures implemented in the ‘70s. In recent years, Hungary with Slovakia implemented a first Life project for the conservation of the species – http://sakerlife.mme.hu/en/content/show.
From March to April, stork lovers assisted passively at the „disintegration” of the storks nest, caused by thieving of materials by many Jackdaws and neighbouring Stork pair. The nest was slowly shrinking, everybody was carrying away nest materials but nobody was building! Occasionally lonely storks appeared in the nest, we even saw a stork with a colour ring, but no pair. Continue reading →
We love nature and yet we distance ourselves from it. We admire thousands of breathtaking scenery pictures on social media, all other’s people experiences. We challenge you to get out from the shelter of your house, enjoy the sun, the nature, the peacefulness and quietness of the forests, the clicking noise of a wild spring and the greatness of the wilderness. We urge you to immortalize these moments and take part in the 8th International Milvus Nature Photography Contest.
Deadline for sending pictures to contest is extended to 13th of August!
In 2016 we are experiencing some difficulties with the webcam nest. Compared to previous years, when the storks arrived in time but we had had technical problems with our webcam, this year the “problem” is with the storks. More exactly, with their absence from the nest. At the end of March a pair of stork was observed in the nest, but unfortunately they were just visitors from one of the neighbouring nests. Continue reading →
In the first days of April, members of Milvus Group attended a mammal conservation workshop organized at Mórahalom, near Szeged, Hungary. The main focus of the conference was the research of indigenous mammal species of the Carpathian Basin, chiefly from a nature conservation viewpoint. Continue reading →