Altai Saker falcon chicks hatched in captivity will be raised in the nests of the pairs of wild Saker falcons
Novosibirsk city in Siberia welcomed some unusual visitors on the 6th of June. Four chicks of saker falcons flew in a warm cargo plane from Moscow Vitasphera rare bird’s nursery to Siberia. Ornithologists met the birds at the airport, fed and calmed them down. The first flight of the chicks went well. Next day the birds took off to their new place of living in the wild in some regions of Southern Siberia. The experts do not name the exact site not to attract the attention of the poachers. All the chicks will be placed into the nests of the wild pairs of saker falcon who hatched their chicks this season. The adoptive parents will raise and feed the fosters as if they were their native. This way the birds from captivity will fully adapt to living in the wild, learn to hunt and add up to the population Altai Saker falcon, an extremely rare dark-brown morph (colouring) of Saker falcon.
Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network claim that the number of Saker falcons in Russia has decreased by 20 % from 2008 to 2018. The species is disappearing and the habitat is shrinking. Poaching is the main reason for that. Altai Saker falcon of the attractive dark morph had the least luck. They have been caught first because of its attractive look and sold to Arab hunters. That is why Altai Saker falcon was chosen for the restoration project by WWF, World Around You Foundation of Siberian Wellness and Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network.
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From 2017 to 2019 within the frames of Saker falcon restoration project the ornithologists placed 48 chicks raised and hatched in nurseries. The vitality of chicks from captivity was comparable of one of native chicks, wich proves the successful methodology applied by scientists:the birds successfully grow up and adapt to living in the wild. The project is long-term and when the falcons will come back to the sites where they grew up and hatch their own chicks they will add to the population.