VII. International Conference on the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) was held on October 2-5, 201 3 in Barónka hotel in Bratislava, Slovakia and it was organised by Raptor Protection of Slovakia (RPS) in cooperation with the Czech Society for Ornithology and MME/BirdLife Hungary, under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, supported by the International Visegrad Fund. Results of 43 experts from ten countries, including three countries of Visegrad region (Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary) were presented in 20 presentations and five posters. Six contributions are published in Slovak Raptor Journal volume 8, issue 1 (2014) as full papers, further twelve contributions are published here as conference abstracts.
The 7th International Conference on the Conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) was held on October 2-5, 2013 at the Barónka Hotel in Bratislava, Slovakia, organised by Raptor Protection of Slovakia (RPS) in cooperation with the Czech Society for Ornithology and MME/BirdLife Hungary, under the auspices of the Ministry for Environment of the Slovak Republic, supported by the International Visegrad Fund. Results of research by 43 experts from ten countries, including three countries of the Visegrad region - Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary - were presented in 20 lectures and five posters. The conference featured several accompanying events, such as an excursion to imperial eagle breeding sites in the surroundings of the conference venue, a demonstration ofwork by a dog specially trained in Hungary for seeking poisoned bait and birds, and an exhibition of drawings and paintings by children from the Visegrad region focusing on birds of prey. During the conference a workshop was held to start the process ofupdating the present International Action Plan for the species from 1996. Furthermore, the action plan for improving the conservation status ofpopulations of the eastern imperial eagle in the Visegrad countries was agreed by the experts from those countries.
During the period 2008-2011 nine juvenile saker falcon females from SW Slovakia were tracked with satellite telemetry. The movement of four of those females tagged with satellite tracking devices was analysed in 2011 (two juveniles for 6 months, one for 5 months and one for 3 months). The analysis of the collision risk with wind turbines also used telemetry data from previous years (2008-2009) - five birds tracked from abandoning their nest to abandoning their post-fledging areas (i.e. 45, 48, 37, 11 3 and 1 34 days). The juveniles visited 1 3 different countries during their post-fledging dispersal and migration. Maximum distance from the nest varied between 1 53 and 2094 km. For two birds the cause of death was recorded: one female was electrocuted and other female was probably also electrocuted. We also evaluated two factors of potential wind turbine threat: a) the distance ofGPS locations from the nearest wind turbines in the vicinity of post-fledging areas, b) numbers ofwind turbines in post-fledging areas. Assessment of the collision risk with wind turbines showed low risk for the tracked individuals. Two of four tracked birds were at medium risk (2-5 km) from wind turbines. The highest risk for the young falcons comes from wind turbines in neighbouring countries, where they are constructed near borders
Collisions and electrocutions on power lines are known to kill large numbers of birds annually on a global scale. We conducted comprehensive research focused on bird mortality caused by 22 kV and 110 kV distribution power lines in 13 Special Protection Areas in Slovakia. In the period between December 2014 and February 2016, 6,235 km of power lines were inspected twice during two periods (12/2014–03/2015 and 04/2015–02/2016) of field survey. In addition an intensive study was conducted during the second field survey at one-month intervals on power lines identified as the most dangerous for birds to collide with. As a result, 4,353 bird carcasses and bird remains representing 84 bird species and 14 orders were identified. Electrocution was suspected for 76.72% and collision for 23.28% of fatalities. Raptors were associated with 40% of all identified victims of electrocution. Two peaks of incidence were recorded, the first in March with a high rate of electrocutions as well as collisions of swans, pheasants, common blackbirds, ducks and herons, and the second in September predominantly featuring electrocution of raptors, magpies and corvids. We were unable to quantify seasonal patterns of mortality due to the limited sample of repeated mortality surveys resulting from the large grid of inspected power lines. We conducted comprehensive statistical analysis of more than 100 configurations of pylons and calculated their potential risk towards birds. Strong spatial correlation was revealed in the data set. Metal branch pylons and corner pylons with exposed jumper wires passing over the supporting insulators above the cross arms were the most dangerous configuration, accounting for 34.72% of total recorded electrocution fatalities (0.13 carcass/pylon). Cases of electrocution were also recorded for two bird species of major conservation concern in Slovakia: saker falcon (Falco cherrug) and eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca). The results of this study may substantially improve conservation management and policies needed to reduce bird mortality.
From October 201 0 until December 201 4 the LIFE09 NAT/HU/000384 project was implemented in four Special Protected Areas in Slovakia. The recent project was complementary to a previous LIFE project implemented between 2006 and 201 0. Both projects supported regular monitoring of the population of saker falcon and new approaches to conservation of the species. The LIFE09 project helped to increase knowledge about the prey composition and the behaviour of the species. The population was strongly affected in 201 3 by extremely bad weather conditions (1 .79 fledglings/breeding attempt). Although the total number of saker falcon pairs in Slovakia is thought to be higher, 31 pairs were breeding in 201 4. By analysis of the diet (2991 individuals), 47 prey species were identified, from which birds were predominant (80%). More than half of the diet consisted of feral pigeons (Columba livia f. domestica) (59%)
Between 1 977 and 201 3 nesting of 72 different pairs of imperial eagle was recorded in Slovakia. The nesting population in Slovakia is concentrated in two subpopulations with the nesting area distant about 200 km. In Eastern Slovakia nesting of 42 pairs was recorded whilst in Western Slovakia 30 pairs were nesting. Authors present results of 37 years period of survey focused on distribution and trend of nesting population, as well as habitat preferences of the species. The paper compares results from Western and Eastern Slovakia. From Western Slovakia further data are evaluated, such as threats negatively influencing the population, period of hatching and other aspects of nesting biology. During the survey period the number of known nesting pairs in Slovakia has increased from five in 1 977 to 53 in 201 3. In total, 908 nesting events have been recorded during this period with 642 successful nesting events and 1 ,080 fledglings. In Western Slovakia the pairs prefer foothills, whilst in Eastern Slovakia most of the pairs nest in lowlands. Strong anthropic pressure is significantly influencing the distribution and size of the population as well as the habitat preferences of the species.