rss_2.0Raptor Journal FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Raptor Journal Journal Feed habits of the endemic Cyprus scops owl () during the breeding season<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The diet of the endemic Cyprus scops owl (<italic>Otus cyprius</italic>) was studied for the first time during the breeding season 2021 in 7 nesting sites from 6 sampling locations using the pellet analysis (n = 65 pellets). Insects, mostly Orthoptera and Coleoptera, comprised the bulk of the owl diet (87% abundance, 31% biomass), whereas small mammals and reptiles were important in terms of biomass, with 41% and 24%, respectively. Birds were the lowest prey order, with 0.6% abundance and 3.6% biomass. The most essential insects were grasshoppers (Acrididae) (17%) and scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae) (6%). From vertebrate prey, Mus spp. (23.7%), Mediterranean house gecko (<italic>Hemidactylus turcicus</italic>) (8%), Cyprus spiny mice (<italic>Acomys nesiotes</italic>) (8%), juvenile black rats (<italic>Rattus rattus</italic>) (7%), and Cyprus agamas (<italic>Laudakia cypriaca</italic>) (5%) stand out as % biomass. Predation on a bat species (<italic>Pipistrellus</italic> sp.) by scops owl was documented for the first time in Cyprus. The estimated prey biomass ranged from 0.1 – 25 grams, averaging 2.1 g.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue events of the common kestrel () in the Czech Republic<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The laying of two clutches in a single breeding season can increase the fitness of the parent birds and stabilise a population. Our study analysed the rate of second-breeding attempts in the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) population in the Czech Republic. In the research, a total of 8,049 common kestrel nests were checked between 1979 and 2019. Of the 1,197 breeding events recorded during the study period in Moravia, 1,184 cases were first clutches and 13 cases (1.1%) were second breeding attempts. In Bohemia, a total of 6,852 breeding events were observed during the same study period, of which 6,811 were first clutches, 32 cases were late breeding attempts and 9 cases (0.1%) were second clutches. Second breeding events occurred only rarely, mainly during population outbreaks of prey species. During the mass outbreak of the common vole (Microtus arvalis) population in the Czech Republic in 2019, 5 (5.2%) of the 97 studied common kestrel pairs nested for the second time in Moravia; in Bohemia, second clutches were recorded in 3 (8.1%) of the 37 studied pairs. The second breeding attempts were recorded at an altitude of 272 ± 123 m (mean ± SD, range 179–560 m, n = 22) and commenced between 24 June and 25 July (29 June on average, n = 5). The range of the time gap between the first and the second clutch was 54 to 92 days (70.8 ± 16.3 days, n = 5). The second clutches consisted of an average of 4.1 ± 0.9 eggs (range 3–6, n = 12), with an average of 3.7 ± 0.9 fledglings in each successful breeding pair (range 2–5, n = 11) and 2.6 ± 1.9 fledglings for each initiated breeding attempt (range 0–5, n = 16).</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’ responses to forest conservation in the Alps<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>As inhabitants of cavities, some owl species benefit from natural processes, different tree compositions and higher volumes of dead wood. We assumed that protected areas would have a positive impact on the owl community. We compared the abundance of calling owls on 22 lines in managed versus protected forests. Here, we recorded the acoustic communication of owls. The composition of the owl community did not differ between areas. However, we found the impact of forest landscape integrity index and altitude on the diversity of owls. Forests in protected areas probably need time to develop natural and heterogeneous habitat structures. The conservation priority should be to increase the integrity of the forests. Our results also confirmed that managed forests can have a high diversity of owls.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue behaviour of an adult female greater spotted eagle () wintering in Sudan for 10 years, as revealed by satellite telemetry<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Using global position system (GPS) technology, we tracked an adult female greater spotted eagle (<italic>Clanga clanga</italic>) on its wintering grounds in the Sudan-South Sudan borderland during 2005–2015. There were 10 909 GPS locations for this bird in the non-breeding range. Throughout the study, the eagle showed fidelity to its wintering grounds. The non-breeding season coincided with the dry season. The median arrival date was 11 October (n = 10). The median departure date (n = 10) was 4 March, and was less variable than the arrival date. The 95% kernel density estimate (KDE) for all years was 33 838 km2, and the 50% KDE encompassed 6 585 km2. The wintering range was split between two areas, west and east, with the eagle typically arriving in the western area, where it stayed for some time. It then moved about 330 km to the eastern area, where it would remain for a few weeks before departing for Europe in the spring. In both the western and eastern subareas, the annual home ranges overlapped to a variable extent (14–99%). The high degree of fidelity to the wintering grounds shown by this bird was mirrored by the behaviours of two other adult greater spotted eagles that we tracked (using &gt;1 tracking devices) for 15 years that wintered in South Sudan and Turkey. The number of greater spotted eagles that winter in Africa is a matter of speculation, although virtually all individuals are likely to pass through a narrow corridor near Suez, Egypt. Collectively, these tracking data and the findings of other studies suggest that greater spotted eagles from the western parts of the European breeding range often move to Africa. Further, the Sudd wetlands in South Sudan are important for greater spotted eagles and other rare bird species during the non-breeding season.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue deformities in Egyptian vulture (): a noteworthy record from Rajasthan, India<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Beak deformities may be permanent or temporary and are caused by various factors. Despite its vast geographical area in India, there has been little research on beak deformities in wild birds, and few cases have been reported. In the present study, we described, as far as we know, the first known report of a beak deformity in the Egyptian vulture (<italic>Neophron percnopterus percnopterus</italic>) worldwide. On 6 January 2014, the first author (HP) recorded the Egyptian vulture with a heavily deformed bill on the garbage dump in Jorbeed, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. The causes of the bill abnormality in this individual are unknown, but our record increases the knowledge of the presence of development deformities in Egyptian vultures. We highlight the importance of photographs as a valuable tool for documenting bird beak deformities. In conclusion, we encourage other researchers to report the records of beak deformities, which is necessary for a better understanding of this phenomenon and its insights into the ecological and physiological implications of this condition considerably affecting bird survival.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue northern hawk owl invasions in Europe<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The northern hawk owl is a real irruptive species that respond to irregular changes in the food supply. When prey levels are adequate, it breeds and winters within northern forests. Decreased prey availability can start winter invasions, the timing and magnitude of which are the subject of this study. Mainly the citizen data were extracted from the national bird websites to obtain data on the number of northern hawk owls observed in 2010–22. This paper demonstrates that through citizen data large amounts of information can be collected over wide areas, entire Europe in this case.</p> <p>From Finland to Poland and Czechia the invasions years were very similar, 2013–14, 2017–18 and 2021–22 but in Sweden and Norway three clear irruption years were a year or two before. In Denmark, the clear invasions years were 2013–14, 2016–17 and 2019–20 but Poland, peak years were not at all as clear as in the other countries. The invasions started earliest in Finland in September and peaked in November. In Estonia and Latvia peaks occurred from November to January. In Poland, irruption peaked a month later in December but continued until April like in Finland, Estonia and Latvia.</p> <p>The origin of the irrupting owls in the region has been debated. In Norway, authors are convinced that owls originate from Fennoscandia but this paper indicates that mass invasions have to originate from northern Russia. However, only in Denmark there was one Russian northern hawk owl ring recovery.</p> <p>Further ring recoveries and preferably GPS tagging and satellite tracking of the northern hawk owls are awaited to have a better picture of invasion movements and future conservation needs.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue first detailed description of building a new nest and new data on the courtship behaviour of golden eagle<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The nest building and courtship behaviours of the golden eagle are poorly represented in the scientific literature. The paper reports on the first detailed description of building a new nest by a pair of golden eagles. Reciprocal pendulum flight by the pair as part of a pre-breeding courtship display is described for the first time. The “mock attack” between the members of the pair is confirmed to serve the courtship function.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue spotted eagles () pale morph “fulvescens” breeding during five consecutive years<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper describes the observation in Belarus of an adult greater spotted eagle breeding female pale morph “fulvescens”, which retained the same light colour of plumage for five successive years. The data on the presence of pale morph adult birds in the collections of some zoo museums is also analysed.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue composition of White-tailed Eagles inhabiting two adjacent inland lakes in Northern Greece<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In territorial raptors, breeding performance and foraging behaviour are affected by territory characteristics as the abundance and availability of different prey species varies between habitats. In this study, we examined the diet of two White-tailed Eagle pairs, occupying neighbouring territories in two adjacent inland lakes in Northern Greece. We assess the diet composition of the species in the southernmost part of its European range and evaluate any intraspecific differences in the diet that may reflect resource and/or niche partitioning between territories. We found that birds and specifically waterbirds comprise the largest and quantitatively most important part of the White-tailed Eagle´s diet, with fish being the second most important prey group that was only found in the nest remains from one territory. There was high diet overlap between the two territories and when considering only avian prey our results suggest that the species predates on heavier (and the most common) waterbird species. A main factor that could be driving differences in the abundance and availability of different prey species between territories could be lake physiography, as our results point to a segregation and a subsequent resource partitioning between territories, with each pair utilizing an adjacent lake and its associated habitats. Competition and territoriality therefore seem to be important intraspecific interactions that along with prey availability could promote changes in territory size and ultimately affect individual fitness.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue status and distribution of diurnal raptor species in the south-eastern Anatolia Region, Turkey<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> The status and distribution of diurnal raptor bird species were analysed in the south-eastern part of Turkey based on studies and records between 1994 and 2014. Our information about raptor species is very limited in the south-eastern Anatolia Region. The study showed that of 42 diurnal raptor species listed in Turkey, 37 of these species were found in the studied region; 9 of them are certainly, 4 probably and 1 possibly breeding in the area - according to the breeding criteria of the EBCC - while 17 of them were transitory migrating or wintering birds for the region, and the breeding/migratory status of 6 is unknown. Habitats lost and fragmentation related to agricultural intensification together with pesticide applications are the main hazards threatening wildlife including raptors in the region. So as to increase knowledge on raptors in south-eastern Anatolia and evaluate their populations, a coordinated education and research program is essential.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue success, selected nest characteristics and the effectiveness of establishing protection zones of the lesser spotted eagle () population in Slovakia<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In 2011–201 4 monitoring of the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) breeding population was conducted in eight special protection areas in Slovakia. From a total of 272 successful breeding attempts by 1 49 breeding pairs during 4 breeding seasons 277 young birds were fledged. The average reproductive success ratio was thus 0.51 juv./pair present, 0.69 juv./breeding pair and 1 .37 juv./1 00 km2. In the surveyed period a total of 1 51 protection zones were established around the nests in 11 9 breeding territories, which provided protection for 1 7% of the breeding population of the lesser spotted eagle in Slovakia. By testing the effectiveness of protection zones it was determined that in nests with an established protection zone the probability of successful raising of young is higher in comparison with nests without such a zone. The probability that breeding will be successful in the nests of breeding pairs without a protection zone was 48.1% (95% confidence intervals (CIs): 37.4–59.0%), and in nests with a protection zone 64.8% (95% CIs: 59.8–69.6%). Among the five most frequent nest tree species used by A. pomarina in Slovakia for breeding are Picea abies 61 × (28.4%), Pinus sylvestris 45× (20.9%), Quercus sp. 36× (1 6.7%), Fagus sylvatica 25× (11 .6%) and Abies alba 1 8× (8.4%). Among the rarer nest tree species used are Larix decidua 1 2× (5.6%) and Alnus glutinosa 3× (1 .4%), while a further 11 species of nest trees did not achieve even 1%. The highest number of nest trees (n = 21 5), i.e. 34 nests (1 5.8%), was found in the altitude range of 401–450 m a.s.l. and 29 nests (1 3.5%) at 351–400 m a.s.l. Other altitude zones were all below the 1 0% mark. A total of 54% of nests found (11 6 nests) are located in the altitude zone of 301–600 m a.s.l., and 71 nests (33%) in the zone 600–900 m a.s.l. The lowest situated nest was at an altitude of 1 50 m and the highest at 950 m; the average was 595.01 m a.s.l. The highest number of nests (n = 209) were located on trees in a range 1 5.1–20.0 m above the ground (n = 92, 44%), while the lowest nest found was at a height of 5 m and the highest at 30 m above the ground.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue size, dynamics and reproduction success of the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) in Latvia<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> We analysed the population size, population dynamics and reproduction success of the lesser spotted eagle in Latvia from 1988 to 2014. While the overall population did not show a statistically significant trend during any of the periods analysed (long, medium and short term), the populations in the individual study areas changed differently: of five research plots, populations were stable in two, increased in one, and decreased in two research plots. Using the existing research plots as samples of breeding numbers in areas of different breeding density classes based on forest management units, the total breeding population in Latvia was estimated. The overall number of breeding pairs in 2012-2014 was between 3700-4000. During the period 1988-2014, 65.62% of all pairs recorded as present on their home range, made a breeding attempt and laid eggs. The reproductive success ratio was 0.49 young per occupied territory with an adult pair of birds and 0.74 young per breeding pair which laid eggs. Overall, during the 21 -year research period there was a stable long-term trend in reproductive success (young per pair present on home range). Rarely, indeed only in 1 .89% of all cases did two young fledge. The total number of young (young per 100 km<sup>2</sup>) shows stable long-, medium- and short-term trends with an average value of 5.1 young per 100 km<sup>2</sup>.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue, distribution and trend of the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) breeding population in Slovakia<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> Several estimates of the lesser spotted eagle breeding population in Slovakia were published in 1955-2002. In this study we estimate the breeding population of the lesser spotted eagle by 1997 and 2014. By 1997, the estimated size of the breeding population was 762 pairs. In 2002 an estimate of the population size by 2000 was published at 800-900 pairs. By 2014 we estimate the breeding population of the lesser spotted eagle in Slovakia at 600-800 pairs and the declining population trend in 2000-2013 at -23%. Our estimate is supported by the extrapolation from data obtained in 2011-2013 in eight selected Special Protection Areas (SPAs) within a framework of the project LIFE09 NAT/SK/000396 “Conservation of Aquila pomarina in Slovakia”. When analyzing abundance, density and trends in the species’ entire breeding range in Slovakia we first summarised the numbers of breeding pairs, their densities and trends within the selected SPAs and then explored the differences among them using ANOVA and cluster analysis. For the eight SPAs as a whole (n = 8) or partitioned by a grid of the Databank of Slovak Fauna (n = 119 squares) we calculated the interval estimates of the mean number of pairs (unweighted and weighted arithmetic means and medians). By summarising these estimates and extrapolating to the species’ entire breeding range in Slovakia (c. 28,935 km2) while increasing the sample size (n = 8, 9, 11 and 1 2 SPAs), the size estimates stabilise at a level of 670 (mean with 95%LCL = 507 and 95%UCL = 834) or 765 (median with 95%LCL = 393 and 95%UCL = 841 ) breeding pairs. The most reliable estimate of the breeding population of the lesser spotted eagle in Slovakia by 2014 is a median of 765 pairs with a 95% confidence interval from 393 to 841 pairs and an interquartile range from 418 to 835 pairs. We estimate a 23% decrease in the breeding population during 2000-2013, i.e. a small decrease -1 (20-49%). Three methods of estimating were used: 1 ) comparing the numbers of pairs in the selected SPAs between 2000 and 2014 - indicates a decrease of -26%; 2) comparing the numbers of pairs from long-term monitoring in five areas (orographic units Vihorlatské vrchy Mts, Laborecká vrchovina Upland, Volovské vrchy Mts, Orava and Horné Ponitrie Regions) by the 1990s and 2014 - indicates a decrease of -20%; 3) comparing the numbers of pairs by 1997 in selected areas within the boundaries of the current SPAs with the number of pairs in the same SPAs by 2014 - indicates a decrease of -23%. In the eight selected SPAs the estimated decline was even more pronounced, reaching a median trend of -35% in the 95% confidence interval from -54% to +25%. The estimate by 1997 fits in with an increasing trend of published breeding population estimates in Slovakia during 1955-2002. The estimate by 2014 is lower than the estimate by 2000, and for the first time ever a declining trend is recorded. By 2014 the breeding grounds of the lesser spotted eagle in Slovakia embrace an area of c. 28,935 km<sup>2</sup>. Taking an estimate of 600-800 breeding pairs, the mean density varies between 2.1-2.8 pairs.100 km<sup>-2</sup>.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue the food of the Eurasian pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum) in Slovakia<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> Data on the food of the Eurasian pygmy owl in Slovakia was collected in 1999−2014 at 12 breeding locations in 7 mountain ranges of the Western Carpathian Mts and 1 range belonging to the Eastern Carpathian Mts. The basis of the evaluation of the food spectrum of prey of G. passerinum was the collection of pellets, osteological remnants and feathers from birds beneath nest cavities and roosting places of females in the months of May to July, that is, in the period of feeding young in the nest. Overall samples of food from 12 nests at elevations of 650−1,260 m a.s.l. were collected; from the largest of the three nests in the upper Nitra Region, from one nest in the Západné Tatry Mts and from three nests in the Volovské vrchy Mts. We compared these data with existing published data from Slovakia. A higher share of birds (65.0%) was found in the obtained material than mammals (34.8%). In the samples from 12 locations 10 species of mammals and 33 species of birds were found among the 377 individual prey samples. Among mammals, forest species of rodents predominated: Clethrionomys glareolus (22.8%) and Apodemus flavicollis (6.6%). The species Microtus arvalis (2.7%) was less abundant than in the stores of food from the Chocské vrchy Mts (35.4%). From the broad spectrum of songbirds, no species exceeded a presence of 7%. Species from the families Sylviidae, Turdidae, Paridae and Fringillidae were more numerous, while the species Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Motacilla alba, Carduelis cannabina, Dendrocopos minor and Passer domesticus were among the more uncommon prey. In total 582 individual prey were determined from the food remnants of G. passerinum in Slovakia (present study and other published studies). The species Clethrionomys glareolus occurred with a higher dominance than average in the pellets of G. passerinum in the mountains which border the region of the upper Nitra. In the Belianské Tatry Mts the most abundant rodent species was Terricola subterraneus, while in the mountains of eastern Slovakia the yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis was most often hunted, and of the songbirds, the coal tit Periparus ater. Among songbirds hunted near the breeding grounds of G. passerinum in the Považský Inovec Mts the collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis was the most numerous. Among the most numerous songbirds which are evenly represented in all compared areas were: Regulus sp., Certhia familiaris, Poecile montanus and Cyanistes caeruleus.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue Conference on the Conservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle, Košická Belá, Slovakia, 2014<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> The International Conference on the Conservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina) was held on September 25-27, 2014 in Lesanka Gesthouse at Košická Belá, Slovakia. It was organised by Raptor Protection of Slovakia (RPS) in cooperation with Východoslovenská energetika Holding a.s. The conference dealt with (i) delivering further inputs for updating the European Action Plan for the species, (ii) sharing information on biology and ecology of the species, and (iii) exchange of experience with best practice and innovative species conservation measures. A total of 59 participants from 1 4 countries attended the conference. The agenda included 17 presentations and 7 posters. Some of the contributions are published in Slovak Raptor Journal volume 9 (2015) as full papers, and a further 23 contributions are published as abstracts. The conference also included two field trips during which participants had the opportunity to observe the installation of console barriers on poles of 22 kV power lines, and typical habitats of the lesser spotted eagle. The conference was organized within the framework of the project LIFE09NAT/SK/000396 Conservation of Aquila pomarina in Slovakia, implemented by Raptor Protection of Slovakia, Východoslovenská energetika Holding a.s., Stredoslovenská energetika, a.s. and Stredoslovenská energetika-Distribúcia, a.s. The project was cofinanced by EU-LIFE and the Ministry for Environment of the Slovak Republic.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue of spotted eagles in Estonia in 1994–2014: Stability of the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) and decline of the greater spotted eagle (A. clanga)<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> Population trends of the lesser and greater spotted eagle in Estonia were comparatively estimated using data obtained in 1994-2014 from the monitoring scheme of common raptors and from special plots for monitoring of spotted eagles. Both approaches had pros and cons, but resulted in similar population trends. The numbers of the lesser spotted eagle have had minor fluctuations over the last two decades but the overall trend is stable; the current population size is estimated as 600-700 pairs. The number of greater spotted eagle breeding territories (pure-species and mixed pairs pooled) have significantly decreased, for example by 14% per year in 2004-2010, though in recent years the numbers seem to be stabilised at a critically low level. The decline of pure-species pairs was somewhat steeper than that ofmixed pairs, their proportion decreasing from a third to a quarter of the greater spotted eagle breeding territories. Altogether 5-10 breeding territories of the greater spotted eagle may be found nowadays in Estonia.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue of contributions presented at the International Conference on the Conservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle, Slovakia, 2014<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The International Conference on the Conservation of the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina) was held on September 25-27, 2014 in Lesanka Guesthouse at Košická Belá, Slovakia. The Conference was organized within the framework of the project LIFE09NAT/SK/000396 Conservation of Aquila pomarina in Slovakia, implemented by Raptor Protection of Slovakia, Východoslovenská energetika, a.s., Stredoslovenská energetika, a.s., and Stredoslovenská energetika - Distribúcia, a.s. This project was cofinanced by EU-LIFE and the Ministry for the Environment of the Slovak Republic. A total of 59 participants from 14 countries attended the conference. The conference agenda included 17 presentations and 7 posters. Some of the contributions are published in Slovak Raptor Journal volume 9 (2015) as full papers, and a further 23 contributions are published here as conference abstracts.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue situation and population trend of the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) in Hungary<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> First reports on the population of the lesser spotted eagle in Hungary appeared between 1978 and 1982, and based on these data, we estimate that their population was about 90 pairs during that period. By 2014 this number had decreased to below 40 pairs. The species disappeared from its former nesting sites in the lowlands, riparian habitats and also in a few hilly and mountainous areas. The reasons for its decline appear complex in Hungary. Changes in agricultural practice are suspected of being one of the main reasons which are discussed in the article. We presume that populations of prey species were also negatively affected. Decrease in undisturbed forest stands older than 100 years was probably also a significant factor affecting nesting habitats. As a marginal population, it greatly depends on the larger ones in the surrounding countries, and it is also affected by mortality during migration. Positive changes in the past four years in agricultural land use have already caused a slight increase in their numbers. Main tasks for the near future should be the establishment of a special support scheme focusing on the species’ foraging habitats.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) breeding in atypical habitat under competitive conditions with other eagle species<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> In the paper we describe two cases of eastern imperial eagle breeding in the former nests of greater spotted eagle and white-tailed eagle observed in the Tatarstan Republic, Russia. In both cases, eastern imperial eagles occupied non-favourable habitats they never used before - a vast alder forest in the wetlands and an island in a reservoir. The possible reasons that made the eagles expand their breeding ranges in the Volga region ofRussia are discussed in this paper</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue of European ground squirrel (Mammalia: Rodentia) in Slovakia: Results of current reintroduction programme<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> Conservation of European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) has been supported by the LIFE - Nature project “Conservation of Falco cherrug in NE Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia” during the period 201 0-201 4. The project activities were usually focused on EGS reintroduction programmmes with the aim of ensuring the food base for selected species of birds in areas where EGS were the primary historical prey and have become extinct. Reintroduction programmes were carried out at two sites in Slovakia: Piesocná (Moravský Svätý Ján) and Pod Okrúhlou skalou (Tisovec). Together 1 74 individuals were released at Pod Okrúhlou skalou and 284 individuals at the Piesocná target site. Monitoring of both repatriated colonies focused on the natality and distribution area. At both target sites successful hibernation and reproduction have been confirmed. The repatriation date was strongly influenced by weather conditions, especially during the rainy season. It was necessary to cut the grass several times per season, in order to ensure appropriate conditions for individuals’ survival. It was also necessary to protect the individuals against predators. House cats tend to hunt squirrels, which can be considered as the most serious threat at the Piesocná site. Squirrels at the Pod Okrúhlou skalou site were overly attacked by foxes. Intensive care (especially appropriate management of sites and additional feeding) ensured good stability of colonies, their survival and increase</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue