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The main goal of the project was to improve the nesting and foraging conditions of rare, nest zone protected species in the Lublin region, which is one of the most diverse regions in Europe in terms of wildlife and landscapes.
The main goal of the project was achieved by minimizing the following risks:
As part of the project, a wide package of protective measures was developed and implemented.
At the beginning, phytosociological studies of habitats and food resources were carried out based on precise spatial utilisation of habitats by the lesser spotted eagle and the short-toed eagle using GPS transmitters. These data were used to precisely define the habitat selectivity and threats .
A comprehensive inventory of selected species was made, along with a search for new nests resulting in the update and creation of new nest zones. The creation of such zones around the nests protects their breeding and habitats against disturbance related mainly to forest management, hunting and tourism. At present, there are over 300 bird nest protection zones in Lublin and Rzeszów regions, established by the decision of the Regional Directorates for Environmental Protection (RDOŚ). Based on the results of the above research and activities, a strategy for the protection of zone protected birds in the Lublin region was developed, with particular emphasis on the location of wind farms and other infrastructure.
In order to create favourable nesting conditions for the eagle owl, lesser-spotted eagle and black stork, 75 nesting platforms were installed. They were built near all nesting areas of the eagle owl, as well as in selected areas of the black stork and lesser spotted eagle.
Another protective measure was moving the younger lesser-spotted eagle hatchling to the nests with the loss of the brood for adoption by territorial adult birds. As a result of a process called Cainism, the younger chick is almost always killed by the older sibling. The younger chick was placed in the care of territorial birds, which lost their brood early in the breeding season.
Moreover, favourable habitat conditions for the lesser spotted eagle were restored through the restoration of 100 ha of abandoned meadows. It is a standard protection measure for birds that need easy access to their prey (storks, birds of prey), i.e. relatively short grass. In the case of abandoned meadows, after a few years, they become too overgrown, and it is difficult for these birds to see the prey or even move in such habitats.
To reduce mortality from electrocution, insulators were installed on 100 electrical transformers located within the feeding grounds of birds of prey. This is of particular importance for birds of prey, the eagle owl and the black stork. Birds, especially young ones, which use such places for hiding or resting.
Other measures concerned the population of boreal owl in Lasy Janowskie and Puszcza Solska. Unfortunately, the disappearance of optimal habitats (old pine stands, over 120 years old, with hollows left after the black woodpecker) in commercial forest stands has been observed for several years. Based on the experience of Scandinavian ornithologists, we put nest boxes in boreal own territories (80 in total). In addition, we protected the nest boxes against the pine marten by installing a thin sheet metal collar to the trunk, which was preventing the destruction of the brood by a predator.
Finally, educational and promotional activities aimed directly at farmers and children had a wide impact on local communities, with the following aims:
making people aware of the harmfulness of poisoning foxes with carrion poisoned with furadan on birds of prey