Increasingly good years for the Saker falcons in the Western Plain

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Conservation measures undertaken in recent years are beginning to show their results. Every year, Milvus Group monitors artificial nests mounted on high-voltage pylons (thanks to a partnership with an electricity company), and rings the Saker Falcon chicks.
Nagy fiókákkal. Fotó: Hegyeli Zsolt
Kerecsensólyom fiókák a kötlőládában
The results are encouraging if we think that in 2011 only one pair was recorded in a natural nest. This year, 46 chicks from 13 nests were ringed, out of a total of 19 successful breedings. We also monitor the composition of Saker prey by installing several photo traps at the nests. The images already give us clues about the importance of the European Ground Squirrel and the Common Hamster as prey species of falcons.
Kameracsapda a költőládánál
The other good news is that three active nests appeared in the northern part of the Western Plain, in Bihor County! Fortunately, the falcon population extends its area into places where no observations have been recorded, at a significant distance from the known area. One of the most important reasons for this is the presence of artificial nests mounted by Milvus Group. The Saker Falcon populations in Europe are estimated at around 450 pairs, of which 47 percent live in Hungary, Slovakia and neighbouring countries. At the same time, the population shows a marked global decline, which calls for conservation measures. We do so with confidence that its population will grow steadily in the coming years, especially through the concrete actions that we implement with the help of the project “Securing prey sources for endangered Falco cherrug and Aquila heliaca population in the Carpathian basin” (LIFE13 NAT/HU/000183, RAPTORSPREYLIFE).

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