Protection of species of special concern
Status of the steppe eagle population in Kalmykia
Ruslan A. Medzhidov (Kalmykian Branch of the Russian Bird Conservation Union, Elista), Valentin M. Muzaev (Kalmyk State University, Elista) and Victor B. Badmaev (Black Land Biosphere Nature Reserve, Kalmykia)
During summer and autumn 2010, a study of the steppe eagle nesting population in Kalmykia was conducted. An area of 6,500 km2 was surveyed and the size of the total area suitable for nesting was estimated to be 24,000 km2.
Population number, distribution, reproduction and the location of nests are described. The total population number of steppe eagle in the Republic is currently estimated to be between 300 and 500 pairs. According to expert estimations, the number in 2002 was between 3,000 and 10,000 pairs.
A number of limiting factors is discussed, the conclusion being made that the highest risk to the steppe eagle population in Kalmykia is the dangers of being electrocuted on the overhead medium-voltage power lines and colliding with vehicles.
A number of recommendations are given which need to be followed in order to halt the decline in steppe eagle population numbers and to mitigate against the most dangerous threats.
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