For the first time two Imperial Eagle chicks were ringed in the West Plains, and one of them will hopefully provide us with valuable information about the routes that these majestic birds are following through their wanderings. One of the chicks, “Bandi”, was named after the late ornithologist Libus András, and was fitted with a satellite system, that will be activated as soon as the bird will leave the nesting area.
On the http://www.satellitetracking.eu/inds/showtable you can follow several birds’ ringed under the umbrella of our trans-border project, “Securing prey sources for endangered Falco cherrug and Aquila heliaca population in the Carpathian basin” LIFE13NAT/HU/000183 ”.
It is expected that in the following 10 years the number of nesting pairs in the Western Plains will increase, but according to the Milvus Groups’s ornithologists it is unlikely that the population will exceed ten pairs. The causes are divers, some influenced by the human factor or by habitat availability. In our area, the species does not found enough solitary trees or rows of trees (compared with Hungary, where 90% of the birds are nesting in such trees). A second troubling issue is the low food availability; unfortunately the small game management (hare, pheasant and partridge) is unsatisfactory in most of the hunting areas from the Western Plain. Milvus Group has already tried to draw the attention upon the usage of poison (pest control) in agriculture and game management. The effects of poison can be devastating for the newly established Imperial Eagle population of Romania. According to some recent data collected in Salonta (Arad), 34 poisoned birds were found dead (http://milvus.ro/en/4922/4922), two of them being Imperial Eagles. A regrettable incident, as the species has not nested in our country in the last 45 years!
Most of the discovered incidents were provoked, by chemicals containing carbofuran (Furadan). This is a pesticide forbidden for years, its toxicity is LD50 = 11 mg/kg (LD50 sum represents the average lethal dose for 50% for lab animals in 24 hours time).
Through specific measures of conservation, our neighbours have experienced a revival of the species in recent years, Ukraine has 100 pairs, Hungary about 180, Bulgaria 25 – 30, and this also explains the nesting pairs in Arad County and the increase in the number of observations of the species in the Western Plain and Dobruja.