In recent years, numerous illegal poisonings were discovered, and as in the last case that occurred three weeks ago, all of those targeted almost exclusively predators. MME/Birdlife along with nature conservation organizations and concerned authorities managed to step up against it with success in several cases, thus its occurrence has been significantly reduced compared to the period of 2011-2013.
In January a dead white-tailed eagle was found by a jogger in Lower Austria. The female was found on a freight road. The dead animal was lying on the ground without any indication of a natural cause of death. A complaint was filed and the bird was sent to the laboratory for examination. The analysis proofed poisoning by Carbofuran.
08.05.2019 - BirdLife Austria reports a horrific discovery from the Western Weinviertel region in Lower Austria. On 6th May a passionate birdwatcher notified the bird conservation organisation of a sad finding: Three five-week-old Eagle Owl chicks had been brutally punched to death and burried nearby their nest. The police have been notified and are currently investigating this case.
The main cause of death for raptors in Central Europe is illegal persecution from humans. Even species which are endangered and strictly protected, such as the Imperial Eagle, are regularly shot or poisoned. In addition to the international PannonEagle LIFE Project, Birdlife Austria is financing the education of two Nature Conservation Dogs to train them to become tracker dogs for the search for animal corpses and poisonous baits.
In summer 2018 two chicks of the Imperial eagle got backpacks equiped with hi-tech GPS-GSM loggers to track their activity and detect potential dangers. We watched their journey as one siblings stayed exclusively in Central Europe, the other went straight to the south on the Greek island of Crete. Now they are both again in the Central Europe.