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Tagged Saker falcon found electrocuted in Moravia

VARIOUS birds of prey, especially those protected by environmental laws in Slovakia such as the Saker falcon (Falco cherrug), are being monitored through satellite transmitters as part of an international project that follows their migratory patterns and locations. Data recorded into maps enable scientists to determine the actual locations of the monitored birds, the TASR newswire wrote.

Saker falcons such as these young offspring are a protected species in Slovakia. (Source: SITA)

VARIOUS birds of prey, especially those protected by environmental laws in Slovakia such as the Saker falcon (Falco cherrug), are being monitored through satellite transmitters as part of an international project that follows their migratory patterns and locations. Data recorded into maps enable scientists to determine the actual locations of the monitored birds, the TASR newswire wrote.

Four young Saker falcons born in Slovakia this year were fitted with transmitters. After they left the nest this monitoring technology established that one of the falcons flew as far as Russia and is nesting about 160 kilometres northeast of Moscow while a second falcon settled in central Germany. The third falcon found the Romanian seashore to its liking and the fourth falcon made its home in the Czech Republic, south of the city of Olomouc in Moravia.

In mid August, however, the transmitter of the falcon living near Olomouc stopped operating and when ornithologists checked the area they found the dead falcon under a 22-kilovolt electrical line. The scientists said it is likely that the Saker falcon was electrocuted when it descended too close to the wires. A closer inspection of the site revealed the remains of a dead Forest buzzard (Buteo trizonatus) and a Carrion crow (Corvus corone).

“This is the deadliest and most dangerous type of corner pylon, as the high-voltage wires hang low, close to consoles on which birds tend to sit,” Jozef Chavko of Raptor Protection Slovakia (Ochrana davcov na Slovensku) told TASR.

Chavko added that this hazardous condition has been addressed in Slovakia and the consoles here are fitted with so-called eco-protectors that are designed to prevent accidental electrocution of birds.


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