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There may be no steppe eagles left in Kazakhstan in 50 year 01 марта 2013, 18:01

The project Make your contribution. Preserve the nature kicked off in 2012 to restore the number of golden eagles in Kazakhstan.
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The very few golden eagles, included into the endangered species list, might be left in Kazakhstan. ©Vladimir Prokopenko The very few golden eagles, included into the endangered species list, might be left in Kazakhstan. ©Vladimir Prokopenko
Steppe eagles are in the endangered species list and very few of them may be left in Kazakhstan in 50 years, Tengrinews.kz reports, citing Nikolay Berezovnikov, an ornithologist from the National Institute of Zoology. Sunker bird nursery near Almaty has been breeding and releasing birds of pray into the wild for over a decade. But this is one the few efforts that are unable to change the trend. The steppe eagle was included into the endangered species list back in 1984, and even back then the species was in the third category meaning that its population was dwindling. "The steppe eagle is of special cultural significance for Kazakhstan. But this bird is disappearing from its usual nesting places. This makes Sunkar's project on release of young steppe eagles into their usual habitat an important effort to restore their population," Nikolay Berezovnikov said. A special project Make your contribution. Preserve the nature was launched in July 2012 to help restore the number of steppe eagles in Kazakhstan. It involved several expeditions to evaluate the population of steppe eagles in Almaty, East Kazakhstan, Zhambyl and South Kazakhstan oblasts. The expeditions were also tasked with studying the factors that affect the species' population. They found that the largest population steppe eagles - 282 pairs - live in East Kazakhstan oblast, 208 pairs live in Almaty oblast, 84 in South Kazakhstan oblast and 76 pairs in Zhambyl oblast. The number of steppe eagles in Kazakhstan is decreasing every year and the main reason for this is lack of feed. “Steppe eagle inhabits a certain territory, it is a nonmigratory species. And their don't flock together is large numbers. Under normal circumstances one couple nests five to ten kilometers away from the next. In the locations inhabited by the birds in Kazakhstan there is one couple per 20-30 km now," Berezovnikov said. Besides the lack of the feed, the endangered species also dies because of old power lines. The birds land on power transmission lines and support and get killed by an electric shock. Another factor influencing the population is construction works in natural reserves and human expansion in general. This drives steppe eagles further into the highlands. Raising and releasing young eagles was also part of Make your contribution. Preserve the nature project. They are using Sunkar nursery near Almaty for that. "We will select a well protected natural reserve with good feed for the release. We are planning to release 8 young eagles that are about 50 days old in autumn next year (2013),” Director of Sunkar nursery for birds of prey Ashot Anzorov said. By Vladimir Prokopenko
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