The majestic winged predator, which was in the last migration away from his native Arabian Peninsula for four years, returned home to Abu Dhabi, flying for three and a half migration the distance equivalent of the earth’s circumference – twice.
The greater spotted eagle, under the code Eagle#296, has been tracked by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi since 2015 using a GPS tracker since 2015. The use of transmitters by Emirati ornithologists to observe migratory birds has been practiced since 2005. However, after two-three years they usually stop working.
The tracker has been working for 4 years with Eagle#296, and the collected information has become a unique data that allows researchers to study the significant routes that representatives of the avifauna make during the migration to winter and back.
During these four years, the hero of our story has overcome more than 80 thousand kilometers and three times his path ran through the airspace over Turkmenistan. Greater spotted eagles are a rare visitor in our country, but when vesting Turkmenistan, they prefer to stop for feeding in the foothills of Koitendag and the Tallymerjen valley. By the way, these territories are considered as the key areas of biodiversity according to the classification of the International Union For conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Usually, greater spotted eagles fly overland every autumn from southern Russia and northern Kazakhstan to Europe, North Africa, the Gulf and sometimes beyond, to north east Africa. Flights take about three weeks for predators. They travel 500-600 km a day, stopping for one or two days to refresh themselves and restore their strength.
By the first week of April, they flock to the Central Asian steppes for the spring breeding season.
– Migratory birds connect one site to another, one country to another country. On the way to the UAE they stop in Iraq, Iran Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russia, so they are one of the biggest ambassadors for conservation, they carry that message across borders, says Salim Javed, the agency’s acting director of terrestrial biodiversity.
Today in the world in natural conditions lives no more than 10 thousand mature individuals of spotted eagles. And understanding flight paths and information about nesting geography is critical to ensuring a safe environment conducive to the survival of this rare species of bird.
Greater spotted eagles are listed on the IUCN Red list and also included in the Red book of Turkmenistan as a vulnerable.
Based on The National