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The participants of the international conference "Eagles Palaearctic: Study and Conservation" in Elabuga, Tatarstan, 20-22 September 2013. Fot. Andrey Kowalyenko.Between September 20th and 22nd the city of Elabuga of the Republic Tatarstan hosted an international conference on conservation and research of raptors. Organised by the Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network (RRRCN), the FSI National Park “Nizhnyaya Kama”, the FSI “Volga-Kama Nature Reserve”, the Elabuga Institute of Kazan Federal University and the NGO “Siberian Environmental Center” (Sibecocenter), the conference gathered experts on the fields from around the globe.

The 3 days of the conference saw an extensive material being presented on monitoring and research of raptors from almost every part of the Palearctic, starting from the Osprey's Pandion haliaetus reintroduction programme in Portugal on one side and ending with the Steller's Sea Eagle Haliaeetus pelagicus population in eastern outskirts of Russia on the other side. Main emphasis was stressed on the conservation measures, especially the problem of high mortality rate due to electrocution which was the subject of one of 3 separate debates. The two other debates concerned globally threatened species - the Saker Falcon Falco cherrug and the Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis. Especially the situation of the latter seems appaling as most territories record very high mortality rate of adult birds, resulting in decreasing number of breeding pairs of which more and more comprises of young and immature individuals. This juvenile Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis was found shot one week later.The main cause is the powerlines as these eagles love to use the electricity poles for resting or so-called "high-stand" hunting. The number of individuals killed annually this way is estimated on over 3000. ANother threat is considered hunting, which I had a chance to witness myself, as one week after my very first in the nest of a juvenile Steppe Eagle during ringing the bird was found shot. There's however chance that this particular individual will survive.

The following day a workshop on erecting artificial nests for owls was organised.

The "Aquila" company presented its products during the conference: the dataloggers with their innovative fitting straps and, for the first time, the main functions of the "AquilaSystem" software.

We would like to thank for the organisation and the fantastic atmosphere during the conference!

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