Drawn to fish stranded within the Stettin Lagoon by August’s low water ranges, the large gathering of eagles drew crowds of photographers and nature lovers. The presence of so many of those majestic birds bodes effectively for rewilding efforts within the space.
In August the Oder Delta rewilding space witnessed an enormous congregation of majestic white-tailed eagles, with round 200 birds interested in fish stranded by low water ranges. A mixture of grownup and juvenile birds had been drawn to ponds within the southern a part of the Stettin Lagoon. Whereas water ranges are actually rising because of elevated rainfall, an estimated 50 birds nonetheless stay within the space.
“It was an incredible and unprecedented sight,” says Stefan Schwill, a rewilding officer hooked up to the Rewilding Oder delta crew. “This can be a actually optimistic signal that rewilding efforts are having a helpful influence on white-tailed eagle populations.”
The Rewilding Oder Delta crew is supporting the comeback of white-tailed eagles by working to revive fish populations and fish migration within the Stettin Lagoon and related rivers, in collaboration with native communities and the State Workplace for Agriculture and the Surroundings in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Rewilding Europe can be opposing a large-scale infrastructure project which might have a devastating influence on the Stettin Lagoon and related white-tailed eagle habitat.
Whereas nearly all of the eagles flew in from different components of the Baltic coast and Scandinavia, a number of the birds current in August’s gathering are prone to have been resident within the rewilding space, which is now estimated to include between 25 and 30 breeding pairs.
“The better Oder Delta space, which is split between Germany and Poland, is now estimated to be dwelling to round 160 breeding pairs of white-tailed eagle,” says Schwill. “Over the previous decade the inhabitants has elevated by round 30 %.”
The gathering of eagles additionally attracted crowds of nature lovers and photographers, wanting to see (and shoot) the spectacle for themselves.
“This sudden inflow of individuals may have been dealt with in a barely higher approach,” admits Schwill. “We wish to see native residents profit a bit of extra by way of cash spent on services corresponding to in a single day lodging and guiding.”
As an integral a part of rewilding efforts throughout Europe, Rewilding Europe is consistently working to develop and help financial alternatives for these concerned in nature-based tourism. In 2016, German NGOs DUH (Environmental Motion Germany) and HOP, each companions of Rewilding Europe within the Oder Delta rewilding space, started a “Digital Locations” initiative to develop a user-friendly on-line reserving and knowledge platform by which delta guests can ebook nature guides. At present in its pilot stage, the initiative will hopefully be rolled out totally later this yr.
Earlier this yr DUH additionally oversaw publication of a guiding handbook. Designed to assist guides working within the Oder Delta, this was financed by the European Union LEADER rural growth programme (LEADER space Vorpommersche Küste), with co-funding offered by Rewilding Europe. An extra enhance to nature-based tourism within the delta has been offered by the European Safari Firm, which now affords superb white-tailed eagle safaris.
White-tailed eagles are discovered close to giant our bodies of water and coastlines throughout Europe and components of Asia. With their spectacular 1-metre top and a pair of.5-metre wingspan, they’re the biggest eagles in Europe and the fourth largest on the planet.
White-tailed eagles eat a wide range of prey. They not solely take fish, but additionally birds, mammals and carrion. They’re opportunistic hunters and sometimes steal meals from different birds. Flying low over the water earlier than briefly hovering and plucking fish from the floor, they’ve additionally been recognized to plunge proper into the water, and sometimes eat their catch in flight.
As a prime predator the white-tailed eagle is an effective indicator of the well being of the environments which it inhabits. For a few years eagles residing within the Baltic space suffered from looking and use of the pesticide DDT, which negatively impacted survival, fertility and replica success. Since DDT was banned within the 1970s populations have proven regular development, though poisoning from looking ammunition and and collisions with trains, energy traces and wind generators stay a worrying reason behind mortality.