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The first datalogger-tagged Egyptian Vulture from Dagestan starts a migration

From 22 to 24 of July 2017, 4 nestlings of Egyptian Vulture from 3 nests were tagged with GPS/GSM loggers, for the first time in Russia. The nests were located on sandstone rocks and on cliffs of Narat-Tube ridge, not far from the cluster “Sarykumskiye barkhany” of Dagestan Nature Reserve. On the 5th of September, the eldest nestling starts it migration!

The young Egyptian Vulture started its migration on September 5, 2017. From the Sarykum sands it headed South towards Buynaksk city; in one day it moved North-West towards Sulakh Canyon and further North to Kizilyurt. Next day it went South-East towards Izberbash city, and after a short stop – headed South towards village Novoye Mugri of Sergokalinsky District, where it spent the whole next day. Later, vulture continues moving South and on the afternoon of September 8, it reached Madschalis to the North-West from Derbent.

The beginning of the migration of one vulture – is a good sign. Now it is clear that all 4 vultures with loggers successfully left their nests and soon all of them will start the migration. But a month ago the success of the project was under a question – when ornithologists tagged the nestlings, the nestlings were not well-fed enough, a keel was easy to palpate, and feathers were crossed with stress-lines that pointed to malnutrition. Additionally, in two broods the youngest nestlings died from starvation. And this happened even though all nests under study are within the 5 km distance from the feeding station maintained by the Dagestan Nature Reserve under the project “Pension for vultures” funded by WWF. It is clear that adults from each nest visited the feeding station and got an additional food supply. Without this feeding station breeding success of Egyptian Vultures in the region could be even lower. On the other hand, feeding station attracts dozens non-breeding Egyptian Vultures and other scavengers such as Cinereous Vultures and European Griffins that are bigger and stronger than Egyptian Vultures. These alien individuals compete the local breeders for prey, and probably distract them from foraging by intruding the breeding territories provoking the local birds to demonstrate territorial aggression instead of hunting. Few days before tagging, during the phase of intensive feather grow, the feeding station was closed, and it makes the survival of nestlings even fainter. Fortunately, our fears did not materialize, and no more nestlings died.

There are many questions left concerning the poor condition of nestlings during fledgling and survival of the second nestling in a brood, and we hope the further studies will shed the light on these issues.

As of September 8, 2017, three young Egyptian Vultures still keep close to the nests, while the eldest one (from the brood of two nestlings) already started the migration. There are many hazards on its way like bird-dangerous power lines, poisoned baits, irresponsible hunters, but we hope it will avoid all of them. We wish him a long life that will provide us with many important data that would lie on a baseline for this species protection plans and management in the Caucasus.

This project was made possible through joint work of Dagestan State Nature Reserve and Sibecocenter LLC together with Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, and Aquila (Poland) that provide technology to produce GPS/GSM loggers with SIM-cards of Russian mobile operators that send data to the receiving station maintained by Sibecocenter LLC in Novosibirsk.

Project participants are grateful to Kurban Kuniev – a director of Dagestan Nature Reserve, Gadzhibek Dzhamirzoev – a deputy director of research work and all employees of Dagestan Nature Reserve who helped us to implement this project. We also thankful to Kordian Bartoszuk and Mikhail Ptscelnikov for technical support.

Igor Karyakin, Rinur Bekmansurov, Elvira Nikolenko, Alexey Levashkin and Andrey Scherbakov


  • 2017/09/09 20:10:43


    Движение стервятника с трекром 117 продолжается: после небольшой передышки в среднегорьях Восточного Дагестана недалеко от Маджалиса, сегодня он повернул на юго-запад, и через наиболее высокогорные области республики пересёк Главный Кавказский хребет в верховьях реки Самур, далее пролетел Закатальский и Кахский районы Азербайджана и сейчас находится недалеко от побережья Мингечеурского водохранилища.

  • f_s_c:
    2017/09/09 20:15:35


    Не пора ли ему имя дать? А будут по стервятникам страницы на форуме?

  • 2017/09/11 20:50:35


    Гаджибек назвал 117-го Сарыгушем. Так вот сегодня Сарыгуш после небольшого перерыва в западных районах Азербайджана возобновил свой полет, утром пересек границу Грузии, и долетел до Тбилиси.

  • 2017/09/11 21:10:58


    Про страницу на форуме – завёл, вот ссылка >>>.

  • 2017/09/16 22:31:32


    Второй пошёл! Младший из гнезда с двумя птенцами, помеченный трекером 116 (его назвали Малыш), начал миграцию 16 сентября 2017 г. Подробности тут >>>

  • 2017/09/20 21:47:43


    К 20 сентября все стервятники начали миграцию. Подробности тут >>>

  • 2017/10/18 12:10:15


    Страница для отслеживания перемещений стервятников >>> К сожалению два уже выбыли, а от одного уже давно нет сигналов.

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