Save Europe’s vultures and eagles


This video says about itself:

11 February 2013

This video tells the story of a poisoned Bonelli’s Eagle that was rehabilitated in North Cyprus by a group of local conservationists who have been tracking the status of the species in their country.

From BirdLife:

By Luca Bonaccorsi, Thu, 25/09/2014 – 14:59

After months of wrestling, the European Commission has given mandate to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to assess the risks to vulture populations of the use of veterinary medicines containing diclofenac. This represents a major breakthrough and opens the door for the European ban of the killer drug that wiped out entire vulture populations in Asia. BirdLife International and the Vulture Conservation Foundation appeal to all parties involved to submit scientific evidence to the EMA by 10 October 2014.

Diclofenac is a veterinary anti-inflammatory drug that kills vultures and eagles – in India it caused a 99% decline of a number of vulture species there, before eventually being banned in four countries in the region. Quite incredibly, veterinary diclofenac has now been allowed to be used on farm animals in Europe – in Estonia, Italy and Spain for cattle, pigs and horses, and in the Czech Republic and Latvia for horses only. The drug has been marketed by an Italian company named FATRO, and was allowed using loopholes in the EU guidelines to assess risk of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.

The European Medicines Agency has now opened a public consultation on the matter, directed at all professional bodies with information about scavenging birds, veterinary practices and the disposal of animal by-products. With this decision, the European Commission acknowledges the facts raised by BirdLife International and the Vulture Conservation Foundation, who are leading an international campaign to ban veterinary diclofenac in Europe.

José Tavares, Executive Director of the VCF states: “It is impossible to leave this drug out there, and it’s the time for the EU to acknowledge the reality on the ground in countries like Italy and Spain. Even if there was a strict veterinary prescription system – and this is not the case – it would still be impossible for the veterinary managing the drug to oversee the disposal of all the dead animals. In Spain when pigs, lambs and goats die in open fields they are often reached by vultures even before farmers are aware of it.”

Iván Ramírez, Head of Conservation for Europe and Central Asia at BirdLife International says: “We welcome the decision, and thank our BirdLife Partners and supporters. Our vulture experts are working on our reply to EMA, but it is crucial that we take any single opportunity to call for the immediate ban of this product. There are safe alternatives and we have already seen how dangerous veterinary diclofenac is for vultures. We won’t stop until a European ban is implemented”.

This video is called Stop Vulture Poisoning Now.

Golden eagles in southern Scotland


This video from Canada says about itself:

16 August 2011

Birds of prey expert John Campbell teaches his nephew to put an identifying band on a golden eagle chick. Close up and personal views of the nest, its reluctant inhabitant, and the birds’ food sources. Spectacular views of Southern Alberta. The banding is part of a program to protect the species. The band goes on fairly tightly because the birds’ legs don’t grow further in diameter as the bird grows.

From Wildlife Extra:

Golden eagles could return to southern Scotland

Improvements to habitats in the south of Scotland could lead the area to become a stronghold for golden eagles.

A study carried out by the Scottish Natural Heritage showed that the area could potentially support up to 16 pairs, almost four times the present number.

At the moment there are thought to be no more than one or two pairs in Galloway and no more than three in the Scottish Borders.

Prof Des Thompson of SNH, who led the research, told the BBC “We would now like to see on-the-ground, practical work to improve the habitat for golden eagles in the south of Scotland.

“With habitat improvements, we could see connections with the small reintroduced population in Ireland. This would help both groups of eagles and could even help bolster the population in the north of England.”

Duncan Orr-Ewing, RSPB Scotland Head of Species and Land Management, said: “These magnificent birds should be given every opportunity to recover and reoccupy lost range, and must be protected in practice from the effects of human persecution, which remains a significant threat to this species, and in particular to this perilously small and isolated population.”

The total number of golden eagles in Scotland is 440 pairs, with most of the birds found in the Highlands and Islands.

Second white-tailed eagle nest in Biesbosch national park


This video is about a young sea eagle in winter in Sweden.

Dutch Vroege Vogels radio reports today that a sea eagle nest has been discovered in Biesbosch national park.

This nest is in the part of the park in Zuid-Holland province. The other part of the park is in Noord-Brabant province.

After an absence of centuries for this species, white-tailed eagles started nesting again in the Netherlands in 2006, first in Oostvaardersplassen national park. Ever since 2012, this raptor species has nested in the Noord-Brabant part of the Biesbosch.

The new discovery is the first white-tailed eagle nest in Zuid-Holland province, It is also the first time ever for two eagle nests in the same nature reserve.

This new nest was discovered late in the nesting season as it was hidden well.

Each Biesbosch eagle nest has two eaglets, making for eight eagles at the nests, plus a single eagle, a two-year-old young female, flying around the Biesbosch.

The sea eaglets are expected to fledge soon.

At the moment, there are two ospreys in the Biesbosch as well.

Vulture-killing drug kills eagles as well


This video says about itself:

Vanishing Vultures

31 May 2011

The Indian sub-continent had the highest density of vultures in the world – 85 million in total. However, over the past few years 99% have disappeared – mostly due to the use of the veterinary drug Diclofenac.

The loss of such an important scavenger has had devastating effects – putrefying decomposing carcasses are thought to be the cause of anthrax and rabies outbreaks. The extinction of this species would have global health consequences.

From BirdLife:

New study shows vulture-killing drug kills eagles too

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 28/05/2014 – 11:45

The results of tests carried out on two Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis found dead in Rajasthan, India, have shown some worrying results.

Both birds had diclofenac residue in their tissues and exhibited the same clinical signs of kidney failure as seen in vultures.

Scientists now fear that all species in this genus, known as Aquila (which includes Golden A. chrysaetos and Spanish Imperial Eagle A. adalberti), are susceptible to diclofenac. With fourteen species of Aquila Eagle distributed across Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America, this means that diclofenac poisoning should now be considered largely a global problem.

Dr Toby Galligan, RSPB conservation scientist and one of the authors of the paper published in BirdLife’s journal Bird Conservation International, said: “In light of recent developments in Europe, our findings take on an even more worrying meaning. All Aquila eagles, like the Spanish Imperial Eagle, are opportunistic scavengers and therefore could be at risk of diclofenac poisoning. As we have seen in South Asia, wherever free-ranging livestock is treated with diclofenac, population declines in vultures and eagles can occur. The European Commission needs to recognise this problem and impose a continent-wide ban on veterinary diclofenac before it can impact on our birds.”

Worryingly, it was announced in March that the drug had been authorised for manufacture and use in Italy and Spain and had been distributed to other European countries. Since then, a coalition of organisations including the Vulture Conservation Foundation, the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and BirdLife have been campaigning for this decision to be reversed.

Ivan Ramirez, Head of European Conservation at BirdLife stated, “The findings strengthen the case for banning veterinary diclofenac across Europe and for the enforcement of bans in South Asia to stop the illegal misuse of human diclofenac to treat livestock.”

Find out more about our campaign to ban diclofenac in Europe

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Saving Bulgaria’s imperial eagles


This video says about itself:

Stoycho Stoychev, Bulgaria – Whitley Awards 2014

8 May 2014

Whitley Award donated by Fondation Segré – The Imperial eagle as a flagship for conserving the wild grasslands of south-eastern Bulgaria.

From BirdLife:

Whitley Fund for Nature rewards BirdLife Bulgarian Partner for its work on the Imperial Eagle

By Elodie Cantaloube, Wed, 14/05/2014 – 08:36

The 2014 Whitley Awards Ceremony was held on the 8th of May at The Royal Geographical Society in London. Among the 9 organisations rewarded, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB; BirdLife in Bulgaria) received a Whitley Award donated by Foundation Segré for its project “The Imperial Eagle as a flagship for conserving the wild grasslands of south-eastern Bulgaria”.  The Ceremony was hosted by the English television presenter Kate Humble and the Awards were presented to the winners by WFN Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne.

For the sake of Bulgarian eagles, Bulgarian bird lovers and everyone else, one should hope that Her Royal Highness The Princess Anne of the United Kingdom on this occasion did not say stupid things about gassing or butchering animals, as she said about badgers and horses.

By the end of the 20th century, Bulgaria was known as the “country of eagles”. Nowadays, only eight Imperial Eagle nests remain in the country and yet they account for 20% of the EU population. The efforts from BirdLife Bulgarian Partner BSPB, aimed to establish the Imperial Eagle as a flagship for wild grassland habitats in order to bring the species back from the brink of national extinction whilst protecting other endangered species including the Saker Falcon, the European Souslik (ground squirrel), the Marbled Polecat and the Tortoise.

The colony’s decline is mainly caused by habitat loss, electrocution from over-head pylons, nest poaching and illegal killing. The accession of Bulgaria to the EU and agriculture subsidies heralded a large scale ploughing of grassland pastures, which has been threatening the remaining Eagle population. More profitable and environmentally friendly farming subsidies are available, but remain little known and difficult to apply for.

Within the framework of the project, BSPB has been providing support to Bulgarian farmers to apply for and implement agri-environmental measures that conserve the Eagle’s habitat while boosting the farmers’ incomes. Also, the organization has developed environmentally friendly businesses based on eco-tourism. Indeed, it was recognized that eagles can generate local income through bird watching tourism and sustainable farming. Finally, BSPB trained local communities in participatory monitoring and nest guarding in order to develop sense of ownership and responsibility among the community and ensure that conservation efforts last in the long-term.

“Our nest-guarding programme has significantly increased breeding success and the survival of juvenile eagles” commented Stoycho Stoychev, Conservation Director of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB). Watch the video and learn more about the project.

The work done so far by BSPB has highly contributed to the increase of the Imperial Eagle population in Bulgaria, which has doubled over the last decade to reach 25 breeding pairs.

The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) is a UK registered charity offering awards and grants to the world’s most dynamic nature conservationists and supporting projects founded on good science, community involvement and pragmatism.

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Sea eagle nest webcam online


This is a video about a young sea eagle in a nest in the Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands last year.

Today, a webcam of a white-tailed eagle nest in the Netherlands went online.

See here.

The sea eagles had found an abandoned buzzard nest and expanded it to fit their size.

Young sea eagles in the Netherlands: here.

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Five bald eagle webcams on the Internet


This video is called Bald Eagle catches salmon.

From National Geographic:

Five Bald Eagle Cams to Watch Now

Watch as adults defend eggs, eaglets hatch, and young eagles take first flights.

By Brad Scriber

March 6, 2014

Forty years ago the bald eagle was in danger of extinction throughout North America, but today the iconic U.S. emblem is an environmental success story. In addition, a handful of these rebounding raptors have become Internet celebrities, appearing on live streaming webcams across the country that allow anyone an up-close look into their giant nests.

The 2014 nesting season is at its peak, so now is the perfect time to watch eaglets hatch in the more northern regions and to see young eagles in the south test their wings on their first flights.

The adult birds often return to the same nests year after year, and lay up to three eggs, which hatch after about five weeks. Adults care for the growing eaglets for several months until the young take their first flight. Fledglings stay in or near the nest for an additional month or so.

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