Diet of the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina) in Slovakia

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Diet of the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina) in Slovakia

In the period 1964-2007, data on 1472 ex. of prey was acquired from whole Slovakia. It was confirmed that the location of the breeding population on the foothills and mountains of the Carpathian Arc has a cardinal contribution to diet diversity. The breeding sites and hunting-grounds were found from 100 to 1 000 meters above sea level. The dominant part of the diet created mammalian species (88.11 %, 19 species and Sorex sp., Apodemus sp., undetermined Artiodactyla). Birds were less represented but with higher diversity of species (6.25 %, 24 species and Columba sp., undetermined Passeriformes). In comparison with birds, the share of Amphibia, Reptilia and Pisces together (4.89 %, 5 species and Rana sp., Lacerta sp., undetermined Serpentes and Reptilia) was lower. Pisces constituted only 0.007 % with 1 ex. of prey species Cyprinus carpio. Evertebrata constituted 0.75 % and species from orders Orthoptera, Coleoptera, and Diptera were found. The dominant prey of A. pomarina in Slovakia was Microtus arvalis (69.57 %), followed by Arvicola terrestris (5.16 %) and Microtus agrestis (3.94 %) constituting significantly lower proportion. These three species from the category small rodents composed 75.67 % of diet. Less abundant species in range 2.24-1.00 % were Talpa europaea (2.31 %), Rana temporaria (2.24 %), Cricetus cricetus (1.70 %), Phasianus colchicus (1.15 %), and Lepus europaeus (1.09 %). In lesser extent (1.0-0.5 %) also other mammalian species such as Apodemus flavicollis (0.88 %) and Mustela nivalis (0.88 %) were represented. The most frequently encountered birds were Galliformes such as P. colchicus (1.15 %), Gallus gallus domesticus (0.48 %), and Coturnix coturnix (0.54 %). Other more abundant prey bird species were Alauda arvensis (0.48 %), Columba sp. (0.48 %), and Crex crex (0.34 %). From the class Reptilia relatively high share of Anguis fragilis (0.95 %) and Lacerta sp. (0.68 %; most probably Lacerta agilis) were recorded. Other species with representation lower than 0.3 % were a random prey of A. pomarina.

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