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Large distance movements of Eastern Imperial eagle form Bulgaria studied by satellite telemetry Stoycho Stoychev, Dimitar Demerdzhiev, Svetoslav Spasov, Dobromir Dobrev

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds Photo: Oguz Altun


First use of GPS Argos transmitters in Bulgaria Main results: • Identified dispersal and migration pattern of immature Imperial eagles from Bulgarian population •Identified wintering grounds of juvenile and immature eagles • Identified key temporary settlement areas

• Identified and prioritized threats • Justify and encourage application of further conservation activities

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds


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20 juvenile eagles have been tagged in the period 2008-2012 in Bulgaria and 2 in the European part of Turkey

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70 gram Argos GPS transmitters of Microwave have been used

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds


Large data set obtained –over 3000 GPS coordinates


Long distance movements are not rare event


First autumn – significant proportion of the eagles migrate thought both straits – Bosporus and Dardanelles, coordinates from October -November


First wintering sites - data from GPS locations from January of the eagles during their first winter


Second wintering sites - data from GPS locations from January of the eagles in their second winter


Spring migration – most eagles migrate back and some did exploring trips to the North, Mart –April coordinates of second and third calendar year eagles


Summer period –coordinates from June of second and third calendar year eagles – exploring the North but spending more time in temporary areas in the Eastern Balkans and close to the natal areas


Threats identified – based on the fate of 22 eagles Live ; 1 Transmitter removed -3rd year; 2 Electrocuted; 7

Disappeared -3rd year; 2

Disappeared -1st year; 3

Dead probably diseases ; 1

Dead unknown reason; 2

Shot ; 2 Poisoned; 1

Injured possible collusion; 1

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds


Mortality and last locations by countries

Bulgaria 35%

Saudi Arabia 5%

Turkey 55%

Sudan 5%

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds


Conservation implications for the Bulgarian population Immature imperial eagles spend significant part of their life time outside Bulgaria and European Union Main threat is electrocution Priority country for conservation efforts is Turkey

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds


Follow up LIFE + project focused on electrocution was developed by grid operator EVN and BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria in 2012 Over 2700 poles will be insulated 45 km electricity lines will be berried underground 15 km dangerous lines will be replaced by insulated cables

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds


Acknowledgment BSPB/BirdLife in Bulgaria appreciates the support of various organization and individuals for implementing Imperia eagle satellite tracking program: LIFE + Bulgaria –Turkey Cross-border cooperation program RSPB – BirdLife in UK MME -BirdLife in Hungary DD - BirdLife in Turkey Bernd Meyburg Dimitris Vasilakis – WWF Greece Richard Cuthbert - RSPB Guy Anderson – RSPB Steffen Oppel - RSPB

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds


Thank you for your attention!

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds

Large distance movements of Eastern Imperial eagle form Bulgaria studied by satellite telemetry  

VII. International Conference on the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle

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