News June 4th

Fledglings  are leaving their nests one after another. In South Sicily all the eaglets already fledged, there are still only a few areas in  central-north Sicily, where young have not yet left the nest because they were born a little later; just a few days more and even these last ones will be flying free in the Sicilian skies. The surveillance camps are over and another breeding season has been completed. 7 young Bonelli’s eagles have fledged from the nests controlled daily by all campers, little chicks watched day after day since their birth in those same sites were poachers/falconers regularly stole them, now they are with the adults ready to learn to master hunting and flying techniques. In two of the nests followed by campers hatching was unsuccessful; eggs were laid  but later abandoned; these natural losses must be taken into account.

Unfortunately, however, we cannot take into account and vigorously denounce the theft of chicks in two nests in central Sicily that we monitor regularly but not daily. We must once again observe the acute shortage of law enforcement in wildlife protection, especially for critically endangered species and conservation priorities. 20150105_152610Compared to 2010 thefts have fallen sharply and the proof is that new pairs, often made up by sub-adult, have settled in new territories never before used by eagles. Instead in other monitored eagles’ nests everything went well with the fledging already occurred of 8 eaglets or with the upcoming fledging of the belated ones. When all eaglets will finally leave their nests we can sum up 2015 which has been an unusual year.

Another positive record is the fledging of young lanner falcons in sites that had always been plundered and from which we had never seen fledglings in these last years: the presence of campers and camp coordinators that monitor the area for the Bonelli’s  eagles is also bringing benefits to this species that we are also monitoring regularly and that are object of poachers/falconers’ attentions.