What we do
Home / News and publications / News / Altai /
For the first time a falcon from the nursery, adopted by wild Saker Falcons, returned to Russia after winter migration
Премия рунета 2017

For the first time a falcon from the nursery, adopted by wild Saker Falcons, returned to Russia after winter migration

17 may 2021
Last summer Charmander, along with Bulbasaur, Pikachu and Squirtle from a nursery near Moscow, were raised by the pairs of wild Saker Falcons last summer

The first Altai Saker Falcon since 2017, hatched in captivity, but raised in the nests of wild Saker Falcons of Southern Siberia, returned to Russia after winter migration. A falcon named Charmander is a participant in a unique project for the revival of Altai Saker falcons in Russia. Last Autumn the bird successfully migrated for the winter, spent 6 months in the southeast of Kazakhstan, and in May he returned safe and sound to Siberia, to the places where he grew up.

Charmaned flying
(c) E Shnayder
“Charmander became the first of 13 Saker falcons in Russia, whose movements we have been monitoring since 2017 with the help of GPS trackers, who has not been caught by poachers, the falcon did not die from poisoning or electric shock on power lines, but successfully returned back to the region where he started migrating! Finally, for the first time in four years of the project to preserve the Altai Saker falcon, we witness: a falcon that was born in a nursery, and then released into nature by replanting as a chick in a nest of wild falcons, returned to its native places after migration”, says Alexander Karnaukhov, Senior Project Coordinator of the WWF-Russia’s Representative Office in Altai- Sayan ecoregion.
Charmander being examined by ornithologists last Summer.
(c) WWF / RCCN

A year ago, WWF experts claimed that Altai Saker falcon restoration project can be called successful when the first falcons, which were born in captivity, but raised in the nests of wild falcons, return to Russia, to their homeland from their wintering grounds. These birds will themselves create families and give birth to new offspring, replenishing the number of the rare species of birds of prey.

The ornithologists will continue to monitor Charmander’s migration in Russia. A GPS/GSM tracker, placed on the back of a bird, tells scientists of the coordinates of a place once a day.

 The excitement of the scientists about Charmander arriaval back to Russia becomes clear when you track the fates of the other Saker falcons tagged by GPS/GSM transmitters within the projects’ frames. Of the 32 falcons tagged by GPS trackers since 2017:

• 9 were caught by poachers,

• 9 killed by other predators,

• 5 died on power lines from electric shock,

• 6 disappeared from communications and their fate is unknown.

Only 3 Saker Falcons (2 native and 1 nursery bird) survived. The tracking results confirm the seriousness of the threats to the Saker falcon both in Russia and along the migration routes.

The migration routes of Charmander
(c) RCCN
For additional information please contact
Senior Project сoordinator