Tracking individuals

In 2006, before the present LIFE project, one individual was tagged with a GPS device in Hungary. The bird was christened Luca and provided species conservation with a host of information. Despite having lost contact with her, Luca is hopefully still alive and kicking. The last time she was detected, the harness was torn and the device was about to fall off, but the bird was apparently healthy and uninjured. The GPS device was never found and Luca has not been observed since.

By means of the present project, at least 12 individuals will receive tags in Hungary. Tracking them would hopefully shed light on the key factors of population stabilization and increase, on systemic stressors affecting species survival.

Based on our present knowledge, the most harmful mid- and long-term losses are the mortality of breeding females and unsuccessful reproductive events (loss of eggs or chicks). For the Hungarian population, these events should therefore be studied to the detail. We must learn about the factors contributing to survival during the different stages of life as well as to reproductive success in order to be able to plan efficient interventions.

Our research aims:

  1. Reveal causes of chick mortality based on data from injured or dead birds
  2. Habitat selection, habitat quality and their changes in time
  3. Metapopulation dynamics

Presently, two hand-reared males and 2 adult females (Dévaványa) as well as 3 juveniles (2 from the Mosoni Plain, 1 from the Kiskunság) wear tags. As the species is strictly protected and very sensitive to disturbance, their geographical positions are not published on the website.