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  • Author: Vladimír Nemček x
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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


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%)