Harvest may kill harriers

Without the help of humans, baby harriers almost always die during harvest.

Baby harriersBaby harriers (Source: Ochrana Dravcov na Slovensku/ TASR)

The members of Raptors Protection in Slovakia are walking around grain fields during these days of harvesting to reveal nests of precious and endangered Montagu's harriers. The birds usually raise their babies on the ground and predators like foxes, wild boars or even strong rain may cause harm.

Environmentalists succeeded when revealing the field of nests in Chtelnica near Piešťany.

“The biggest threat for them is a combine when harvesting because it does not miss an inch,” said Michal Noga from the Raptors protection organization, as quoted by the TASR newswire. Members of the organization have checked the locations with the most sightings since June.

As he stated, there is about from five to twenty pairs of harriers in Slovakia but the ornithologists are not always successful in finding them. However, without the help of humans, the baby animal almost always dies.

After finding a nest, members of RPS usually inform the local agricultural cooperative and state nature protection. There are several possibilities, such as postpone harvest by a only few days so babies can fly or to cut the grain around the nest. However an uncut swath of grain allures predators, explained Noga.

Environmentalists feel relief when they see harriers fly above fields, according to Noga.

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