• 2,495 Saker chicks!

Mongolian Artificial Nest Project: 2014 update

In 2010 we erected 5000 artificial nests in areas of the Mongolian steppe where there are very few natural nest sites for predatory birds.  The primary aim of this project is to create a managed population of Saker Falcons that can be readily monitored, which can then potentially be used to underpin a sustainable harvest of the species for falconry. Over the last four years the number of breeding pairs of Saker Falcons occupying these artificial nests  has increased annually.  In 2014 we found 764 breeding pairs of Saker Falcons and we ringed 2,495 chicks at the artificial nests. The network of artificial nests also supported 959 breeding pairs of Common Kestrels, 425 Upland Buzzards, 371 Ravens and one pair of Eagle Owls.  All these species prey on small rodents, which are considered to be pests as they contribute to grassland degradation in the steppe.  The Mongolian Artificial Nest project is implemented by International Wildlife Consultants (UK) and the Wildlife Science and Conservation Center (Mongolia) on behalf of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD, UAE). The Mongolian Artificial Nest Project forms part of a wider programme of research, conservation and education projects related to Saker Falcons in Mongolia, which are funded by the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Green Development, Mongolia and International Wildlife Consultants.