Researchers of Eastern Imperial Eagles gathered for the 8th time.

2018.10.10

The 8th International Workshop on the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle has come to an end, BirdLife Hungary and the PannonEagle LIFE project had also helped the Russian colleauges with the organization and implementation of the event.

The conference was held within the scope of „Eagles in the Palearctic: Study and conservation” event, that took place in Katun, in the Altai Krai region of Russia, on the 7-10th of September, 2018. The event was organized by the Russioan Raptor Research and Conservation Network, where 101 scientists from 30 countries performed the results of 90 researches. In addition to the general presentations, the most important issues regarding research and conservation of Eurasian eagle species had also been discussed, such as:

  • steppe eagle, imperial eagle and osprey conservation,
  • methods in molecular genetics,
  • effects of energy infrastructure.

More information about the Conference „Eagles in the Palearctic: Study and conservation” and the Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network can be found here: http://rrrcn.ru/en/conference-2018

Short summary of the 8th International Workshop on the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle:

  • 14 presentations of the conference gave reports on the status of Eastern Imperial Eagles in eight countries and introduced the results of several satellite-tracking projects (ca. 200 tracked individuals).
  • Both Pannonian population (in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Czech Republic, Serbia and Romania, ca. 325 pairs) and Thracian population (in Bulgaria and European Turkey ca. 75 pairs) increased by ca. 50% in the last 5 years.
  • Still only some small fractions of the Anatolian population is surveyed (ca. 50 pairs) and no data is available on the trends.
  • The main Russian and Kazakh populations of the species are estimated to be between 6,465–7,849 breeding pairs, of which 2,481 breeding territories of eagles are recorded (8.67% increase in 5 years). The previously recorded general increase of the populations seems like it had stopped and visible increase was only detected in Western Kazakhstan. In parallel local changes in the main habitats was observed in several regions, as eagles moved towards more open habitats and occupied electric pylons more frequently.
  • Electrocution is still the main threat in most of the distribution area, while predator poisoning seems to be the key mortality factor in the Pannonian populations.

Resolutions

  • We promote cooperation among organizations executing numerous satellite-tracking projects on the eastern imperial eagle, in order gain the most valuable outputs for conservation purposes.
  • We encourage experts dealing with the conservation or research of eastern imperial eagles to publish the vast experience gained in the last decades, as the number of publications still very low comparing to other threatened raptor species, which were studied with similar intensity.
  • We emphasize that electrocution and poisoning is still a significant threat to the existence of Eastern Imperial Eagle populations, therefore we urge all relevant organizations to work on the elimination of these problems at the key breeding and wintering areas of the species.
  • We promote enhanced surveys of the populations in Kazakhstan and Turkey with the help of the international expert community, taking into consideration the extremely high importance and relatively low coverage of surveys of these national populations.
  • We suggest that the 9th International Conferences on the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle should be organized in Kazakhstan or Turkey in 2023 depending on the possibilities of local organizations.


Reperesentatives of the Carpathian region (Photo: Márton Horváth )

5 experts from BirdLife Hungary (MME) and Hortobágy National Park Directorate (HNPI) represented Hungary on the conference. MME presented their Hungarian and Anatolian achievements in the survey and conservation of imperial eagles, they also gave a summary about international research on satellite tagged imperial eagles. Two additional posters have also been presented: The results of MME’s dog unit for the prevention of poisoning, and Territory use of young imperial eagles in the Jászság IBA (HNPI). Within the scope of the PannonEagle LIFE project, our foreign colleagues presented their conservation results from Slovakia, Chechia, Austria and Serbia. After the workshops the participants had the chance to discover the habitats of the Ust-Kan basin that has one of the highest population density of imperial eagles in the world as well as a significant steppe eagle population. The five Hungarian and two Russian experts spent the following four days mapping unknown eagle territories, discovering 20 new imperial eagle and steppe eagle breeding grounds, and collected many feathers for genetic research.


Steppe eagle nest, imperial eagle nest and a prey species (Photo: Márton Horváth )

As a pleasant surprise, the researchers crossed paths with “Orosha”, the imperial eagle, who was tagged by Hungarian and Russian researchers in 2014. Two days later “Orosha” was on her way to her usual wintering ground in Kazahstan.Check out her route >>here<<.