|Town/Region||Ovce pole, Povardarie|
|Country||Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of|
|Date||25 Feb 2014|
The Imperial Eagle is predominantly a lowland species. The breeding habitat in Macedonia consists of hills and along rivers, but also steppes, open landscapes and agricultural areas. Most of the areas important for breeding are located along the central steppe part of Macedonia called “Ovce pole” (15 known nests) and during Vardar river valley from cities Veles to Demir Kapija (8 nests). The majority of the territories are located in areas of elevation between 150 and 300m. Almost seventy percent of the nests discovered were in poplar trees, other are on high-voltage pylons and oaks. In the recent past Imperial Eagles were considered to be migratory.
However, more recent observations demonstrate that breeding pairs are wintering in their breeding territories. Immature birds are also observed during the autumn and winter mainly in the central but also in the south of the country. The main threats to the species in Macedonia are destruction and alteration of breeding and feeding habitats, poisoning, shortages of prey,electrocution and human disturbance of breeding sites. In general, this project will generate basic information needed for conservation planning, particularly about where eagles are located and what is its status. This will be the first step for its conservation.
The overall objective of the project is to conserve the existing population of the Imperial Eagle in Macedonia, to facilitate its expansion and increased productivity through reducing disturbance during nesting season, and the factors limiting expansion and productivity. Collected data on the population size and their breeding success can be used for lobbying for more effective conservation policy and measures both on national and international level. The detection of nest sites was utmost important to secure the broods with active conservation efforts where it was necessary. All the gained information from the monitoring activities will help us to plan further efforts to be taken in favour of conservation of the imperial eagles and secure the success of breeding attempts and decrease mortality by active conservation efforts. In habitats where eventually be found that has insufficient (or insufficiently suitable) trees, will be necessary to set artificial nests. It is also possible that some of the natural nests found will be in bad condition or insufficiently stable, so it will be necessary better consolidate them or replace with the artificial nests. Power line sections considered to be a threat for imperial eagles are going to be identified in both breeding and temporary settlement areas.
The data obtained will be used in subsequent negotiations with the authorities of electrical companies responsible for the maintenance of pylons, and lather implementation of direct action to isolation hazardous wires. Providing safe food on the feeding place (without danger of poisoning) on regular basis is expected to increase the survival rate of the juveniles and to attract more birds on this location, stimulation formation of new pairs. It minimizes the risk of poisoning as the eagles will have constant food source and can shorten their foraging time.
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