Conservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina) in Lithuanian forests

Eagles in the forest, Nr. LIFE09 NAT/LT/000235

A survey of the nest sites of Lesser Spotted Eagle and evaluation of their quality has been started in the project areas

The inventory of Lesser Spotted Eagle nesting sites in the project areas started in March 2011. This year priority will be given to the search of the nesting sites in Natura 2000 sites designated for the conservation of Lesser Spotted Eagle in Lithuania: Šimonys, Taujėnai – Užulėnis, Lančiūnava, Labūnava, Gubernija, Gedžiūnai ir Biržų giria biosphere polygons. The field work is planned and carried out according to methodology for the research of large forest raptors which is successfully applied in many European countries. The methodology is based on three stages: 1) planning (i.e., selection of the observation places within project subareas), 2) surveys and counting (i.e., mapping of eagles nesting territories based on itra-, interspecific and hunting behavior of birds) and 3) search of the nests (checking of each forest stand within mapped eagle nesting territories). The project implementation team selected the counting points in biosphere polygons in March and April 2011.

Good overview of the surveyed forest is essential for the successful inventory, therefore counting points are usually selected 0.5 – 1 km from forest edge. The number of counting points in the biosphere polygon depends on area and shape of forest, however in most cases several tens are selected in one biosphere polygon.

The surveys of Lesser Spotted Eagles in the biosphere polygons have been started on 17 of April. At each counting point field workers of the project team survey the surrounding area with binoculars and spotting scopes, register behavior of the eagles (for instance hunting, display flights, aggressive interactions with other birds and etc.) and mark bird observations on maps. The observation session at one counting point lasts 3-4 hours between 9 and 17 o’clock (or 10 and 18 o’clock). The data collected during the surveys will be used to determine the number of Lesser Spotted Eagle pairs and their nest sites.

Nest search is the third stage of the inventory. To avoid disturbance of the eagles during incubation (April-June) period and when juveniles are present in the nests, the nest search will start after the juveniles leave the nests and will be continued through autumn and winter.

Contacts

Public establishment „Gamtosaugos
projektų vystymo fondas“
Savanorių pr. 173, LT-03150 Vilnius

Mobile 8 686 14030
Phone (8 5) 236 1600
Fax (8 5) 236 1601
E-mail gpv.fondas@litagra.lt,
info@eagles.lt