Signals of hope in the sky above Serbia

Source: GoogleEarth / MME Hungary


With only a single nesting pair of the Eastern Imperial Eagles left in the country in 2016, the new data and sightings are giving us hope for another, and hopefully more permanent, rise in population abundance in Serbia.

Since the start of the PannonEagle LIFE project activities in Serbia in 2016, and with a lot of dedication and hard work, the volunteers and partners of Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia contributed indubitably to the survival and success of the last nesting pair, Bora and Eržika. Since then, we have seen the population in Serbia rise to three nesting pairs in 2020.

Furthermore, the newest data is giving us even more hope. During the Eagle Census 2021, the surveyors spotted 7 young Eastern Imperial Eagles, in addition to the already known and established nesting pairs.

During February 2021, our colleagues from MME Hungary shared with us more good news: their tracking telemetry set on several young birds showed their trajectories of flight through Serbia. This way, we gained very helpful insight into not only 4 more young birds flying through our country, but also the locations which they used for resting and hunting.

Two more young birds have been observed recently very close to the national capital, Belgrade.

Although this data is giving us signals of hope that the rising number of young birds will result in some of them once again nesting at some of the historical areal sites, there’s still quite a long way to go in order to have a stable national population. This very low number of individuals can still result in a population diminishment or crash, as the human-caused mortality incidents are still widespread. The ever more present trends of illegal and unregulated logging activities in Vojvodina are also very intense even in the Protected Areas. These practices in conjunction with the rising trend of unregulated off-road vehicle riding within or very nearby the 1st category Protected Areas might dissuade the eagles from re-settling our country.