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Eagles prefer Hungary to Slovakia, blood tests show

SLOVAK ornithologists are using a new scientific method of getting DNA from the ends of birds’ moulted feathers. Thanks to its use, they were able to determine that two of the rare Eastern imperial eagle (Aquila Heliaca) born in Slovakia in 2004 and 2006, are alive and fit. However, Hungarian ornithologists now located the two Slovak eagles on their territory.

Eastern Imperial eagleEastern Imperial eagle (Source: Sme)

SLOVAK ornithologists are using a new scientific method of getting DNA from the ends of birds’ moulted feathers. Thanks to its use, they were able to determine that two of the rare Eastern imperial eagle (Aquila Heliaca) born in Slovakia in 2004 and 2006, are alive and fit. However, Hungarian ornithologists now located the two Slovak eagles on their territory.

“We know that our young eagles are alive,” Lucia Deutschová, head of Raptor Protection in Slovakia (RPS) told the TASr newswire. “We can say that they have preferred Hungarian localities to Slovak ones,” she added.

The eagles had blood taken when they were still in the nest, and now, Hungarian zoologists compared the samples to those found recently, close to their new home, however, they could not watch the adult eagles to see whether they have a ring. “They only found out thanks to the blood extracted from the encapsulation of feathers,” Deutschová said.

The habitat of the Eastern imperial eagle, considered to be the king of the heights, stretches from central Europe, through Ukraine, Turkey and southern Russia to the centre of Siberia. RPS reminded that it belongs among endangered species. In Slovakia, about 40 pairs are registered. Part of the effort to save this species concerns also its monitoring – in which RPS cooperates with many other organisations.

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