Photo: Lucia Deutschova
On 9th July the last Saker, brood mate of "Zsuzsi", was tagged. The GPS PTT had been originally on the bird "Csenge" in Hortobágy region, however the harness was too loose and disturbed the falcon in her moves. Therefore, we trapped Csenge on 2nd July and we removed the PTT. This PTT had not been transmitting since its deployment we started to test it instead of placing it back on Csenge. The tests were successful.
Meanwhile it turned out that Zsuzsi’s PTT did not work either, it did not seem to make sense to leave it on her. Zsuzsi therefore was made prepared for trapping: we were feeding her for days on the trapping site. However, quite unexpectedly just on the day before the day of trapping her PTT started to transmit (and it has been transmitting since then), so we decided to leave the PTT on. At the same time, we did not want to miss the opportunity to trap a member of the fed family. On 9th July we managed to trap a sister of Zsuzsi, who received the name “Lili”, and we tagged her with Csenge’s PTT.
There are several reasons why we haven’t tagged Csenge again. It is very likely that it would have been difficult to trap her again, while everything was set already at Zsuzsi’s family. In addition, Zsuzsi’s family lives in a pilot project area, where the more detailed surveys explain the need for more PTTs. A separate album can be found about the action in the Gallery.
There are not any problems with seven birds out of ten equipped Sakers.
The PTT on Tóni transmitted for a day only then nothing. During the repeated monitoring, it turned out that Tóni and another young Saker disappeared leaving only two young Sakers in that brood. It is very likely that something happened to them.
PTT had been attached too loose hampering the bird in her move. Besides it had not been transmitting. Therefore, Csenge was captured on 2nd July and the PTT was removed. Now it is being tested again. It was not only Csenge who went to the trap, but also her nest mate was captured. Photos about the successful action can be found in the photo gallery.
PTT is well on the bird but not transmitting. Zsuzsi is planned to be captured as well, and the PTT will be removed and sent back to manufacturer.
Movements of the young Sakers can be seen also on this website from late August – early September.
In the frame of „Conservation of Saker in the Carpathian Basin” Hungarian-Slovak LIFE-Nature project a young Saker will be equipped with a satellite tag (so called Platform Transmitter Terminal or PTT) in Csákvár, Hungary on 7th June. The Saker will be tagged by the experts of Bükk National Park, BirdLife Hungary and Pro Vértes Nature Conservation Fund.
Altogether 46 Sakers will be equipped in Hungary and Slovakia during the project until 2010. Tagging Sakers helps experts to track their movements, and explore migration routes, roosting and wintering places. It is an important element of the conservation programmes. There is only little known about the movements of young Sakers, thus there is little information about the threatening factors as well. Tracking them helps to understand migration patterns of young Sakers along with the threatening factors and that enables experts to take the necessary conservation measures.
Primarily aim is to tag young birds because adult Sakers mostly stay in or around their eyries all year around according to recent knowledge.
Photo: Kovács Attila (MTI)
The Hungarian Saker population shrank to 30 known breeding pairs by the ‘70s. As a result of conservation efforts launched in the ‘80s, there are about 140-150 pairs nowadays. Nevertheless the number of Sakers is continuously decreasing most of the other parts of the world, thus it is extremely important to maintain the Hungarian conservation programme.
In 2006 a joint Slovak-Hungarian Saker conservation programme was launched with the support of EU’s financial instrument called LIFE-Nature. With the lead of Bükk National Park, 16 organisations from Hungary and Slovakia are participating in the project that aims to facilitate practical conservation efforts.