Eagle culling stalling and politicians are frustrated.

l296gzzf9FedmzZ5Ssunpgt7SJpMtWvoEMu60-d7f99Q.jpgFOTO: LINDA BJØRGAN / NRK
One year and one month later, still no eagle culling has taken place. We have all waited in frustration for lack of public information on what is really going on, has the culling started?

Recent information reviles that there has been ongoing gathering of documentation that has been a staller for the project, and politicians are getting frustrated as it is simply not going fast enough for them.

The stall is actually thanks to Norway’s Climate and Environmental Minister Vidar Helgesen, he has not granted the final ‘yes’ to put the project into action. They are using time for people to collect data on eagle attacks and population, second half is the cull, which they hope to set into action in 2018.

There is a new hearing on the case on September 4th.

For more details on the golden eagle case, please cheack previous posts on the blog or check at Bird Life Norway.

Info via NRK

Advertisements

Knowledge is missing in the eagle discussion.

Fear is spreading on social media about how the golden eagle population in Norway is ‘out of control’. But the media is not from the scientists, on the contrary, there is a deeply worrying concern coming from the experts studying them, writes NRK.

I have followed this case for a year now, reading all the NINA reports on Norwegian golden eagles, easily accessible for every Norwegian online. Reading newspaper articles on conflicts between livestock farmers and predators, and last but not least, checking the online data at http://www.rovdata.no for registered animals being attacked or killed by predators, narrowing it down to specifically ‘eagle attacks’. Guess what, while 2016 has been the year with the least registered attacks in almost 10 year, the compensation payed for lost livestock by predation has in the same time doubled. In 2006 the loss of reindeer claimed by golden eagles exploded from 1000 to 2000, compentaiting the Sami farmers with 26,4 million Norwegian kroners. Reading all of this information leaves it dangerously clear even for me; nobody has, or is yet, including the experts in the discussion in the Norwegian Parliament. Had they actually used the knowledge from the experts, then they would be updated on several things that do not comprehend their action of legalizing to cull as much as what might well be 200 eagles. There are so many actions before killing needs to be an option, one is the fact that, unless documentation can be provided that it is the eagles doing the claimed attacks, the law already states that it is allowed to take it down. It is nationally accepted that eagles may take 2-4% of livestock, and this will be compensated, they do not take more than that, but still the ‘the call of wolf’ continues. Documentation – evidence – work. For many that is a threshold. So the rules are bent, and twists spread like fire. Did you know you can claim in self-defense that a predator was attacking an animal, even though it was just flying or crossing the ground?  An eagle soaring over the farm is practically an attack, and farmers support each other for taking such shots whenever the animals cross by. Eagles soar over large territories,  if they soar over the wrong farm, it will be their last journey.

I did a presentation in Ireland in fall 2016 on this case at the annual international meeting of http://www.iaf.org to raise awareness as Norway seems to not take into consideration either publishing much info in English, or thinking that this is a case of international concern. International conservationists are deeply concerned about the lack of information to take such extreme decisions as by culling. Not to mention, some of these eagles migrate to Sweden, what about the Swedish protection law? The golden eagle population is a success conservation story, together with the Norwegian peregrine, which also almost became extinct due to the earlier predator persecution.

My worry now is, is the cull officially on, why are there no official leaks of the processes, is the killing going ‘under the raider’ to prevent international rage?

Short, worrying facts:

It became official in June 2016 that killing golden eagles will take place in Northern Norway as a ‘test project’ to manage the population.

Livestock animals die of many other reasons than predatory attacks, but claims by predation will give a good profit for lost animals.

The golden eagle population is finally stable after rising form ‘the ashes’ as a result of the predator persecution that started 200 years ago.

Only about 4/5 of the population is breeding.

The breeding pairs have very few young, often only one chick, and experts calculate that within the next 30-50 years, the golden eagle population will sink to half of the estimated numbers, leaving it endangered once again.

The killing of golden eagles will be aimed in late spring, when the golden eagles breed themselves. Killing of one, or both adult eagles, will leave the eagle chick to starvation and death, breaking the animal ethics on welfare as this is human involvement.

Support our Norwegian Eagles before we need conservation actions, sign the petition:

More on this on my blog, is Norway breaking the Bern Convention?  The Rise and Fall of the Golden Eagle in Norway.

For more info, check out BirdLife Norway, or on Facebook.

pr2pJ6Jk1FVNgykgFYKp_gdFZohkuBGCD_XfZM9e_pyQ PHOTO OF WTHITE-TAILED EAGLE: LINDA BJØRGAN via NRK

Urban Nature Maps / Urbane naturkart

English marked in Italic

Kunne du tenke deg et kart hvor du kan finne ‘grønne områder’, og gjerne oppdage en variasjon av flora og fauna, i en storby? Ja, takk! I Rotterdam finnes det et såkalt Urban Nature Map, altså et urbant naturkart.

Would you like a map that could show you the ‘green areas’, and perhaps also have the opportunity to explore the variation of flora and fauna, in a city? Yes please! In Rotterdam there actually is an Urban Nature Map.

‘Jeg tenker at enhver by burde ha dette! Kanskje de allerede har det? Kan folk dele? #UrbanNatureMaps’. Skriver Chris på Twitter. Jo, jeg er enig, de burde det, dette er genialt. Kort tid etter blir hans tweet delt med mange, og entusiasmen sprer seg.

‘I’m thinking every city should have one! Maybe they do? Can folk share? #UrbanNatureMaps.’ – Chris Charles writes on Twitter. Yes, I agree with him, this is brilliant. Soon after, his tweet goes viral, and enthusiasm is spreading.

Photo curtesy by Chris Charles, who recently used this Urban Nature Map in Rotterdam.
You can follow Chris on Twitter @Chris4nature
nature-photo

Urban nature maps: Rotterdam and Helsinki

I storbyer har det florert et behov for å trekke inn mer natur i form av grønne lunger, enten det er parker, urbane takterrasser eller en type veksthus. Det er ikke noe nytt at det er parker og hager i byer, men det er et nytt fokus på dem, og kart som dette viser deres betydning. Parker og hager går langt tilbake i tid, og gjerne i forbindelse med at en park hørte til en større eiendom hvor det gjerne også foregikk jakt. Behovet i dag er utenom at de gir oss visuelle grønne områder, så gir de oss et bedre levemiljø; som å gå tur i parken, går tur med hunden, slappe av, bare det å kunne koble til naturen midt i en travel by og hverdag. Det er like viktig at barn får muligheten til å etablere et kjennskap til naturen om de i det hele tatt skal kunne utvikle et forhold om naturbevaring når de vokser opp.

In cities there is a growing desire to pull in more of nature in ways of so called ‘green lungs’ like establishing more parks, urban roof gardens or as vegetable growing- or types of green houses. It is not a new thing to have parks or gardens in a city, but there is a new focus on them, and maps like this support their value. Parks and gardens go way back into historical times, and often a park would be part of a large property where there even would be arranged hunts. Today the parks and gardens, apart from being just green areas, give us a better way of living, we take walks in the park, walk the dogs, relax, and can just connect a bit with nature in the middle of a city. For people who don’t travel out of the city to be in nature, these green areas in the urban lifestyle are of huge importance, and it is highly important for children to connect to nature, if they are to care about any aspects of wildlife as they grow up.

Et eksempel på omgjøring av noe til fordel for natur som i New York hvor en toglinjen som ble omgjort til en grønn trase, the High Line, på vestsiden av byen. I tillegg som å fungere som en avslappende park, får en også se byen fra noe annet en gatenivå. Langs toglinjen dukket det opp små området med aktivitetssoner, planteområdet og sitteplasser (se bilder under). En skal ikke undervurdere hvor mye slike områder har å si for oss, og for dyr, som for de miste av dem også, insekter.

An example on how an area has been redesigned in favor for incooperating nature in the city, and old train track on the West side of New York City was transformed into a park called the High Line. In addition of functioning as a park, it also brings you up from the level street ground, so you can see the city from another angle. Along the line there are areas of activities, lots of plants and sitting places (photos below). One should never underestimate how much such places mean for us, and animals, such as the tiniest ones as well, insects.

A selection of photos from exploring the High Line; staircases give easy access and occasional exits from the park. You can walk on old railtrails, and there was an activity zone with lego, I built a tiny nest box and added on a building. Photos by Lisa Søyland and Ellen Hagen.

Dyr har en egen evne til å tilpasse seg, slik som de urbane hønsehaukene som hekker i de grønne, skogkledde kirkegårder i Berlin. Dyr kan også hjelper oss med å sette pris på aspekter ved å bo i storbyer, de tilfører en verdi for oss, en mening. Ulempen blir noen ganger at de kan oppfattes som attraksjoner, og det er da viktig å huske å gi dem rom, ellers forsvinner de. Hekkekasser for fugler bør settes opp med omhu, uansett om det er for småfugl eller for rovfugl, for trives de, så kommer de tilbake. Du trenger bare å se ut vinduet fra et bygg i en by og undre deg over hvilket dyr som faktisk bor der. Tar du deg tid, så kan du kanskje oppdage dem, lykke til.

Animal have their own way of adapting, just as the urban goshawks of Berlin. They nest in the green, wood framed cemeteries in the city. Animals can help us appreciate aspects of livining in big cities, they give us a certain value, a meaning. However, sometimes such behavior might turn into an attraction, and this is when it is important to give animals a space, if not then they might relocate. Bird houses and nest boxes should always be set up in favor for the birds, regardless if they are songbirds or raptors, because if they like it there they will return. You only need to look out of a window from a city building, and wonder which animals live here. If you take time and make an effort, you might actually get to observe them, good luck.

Remains of an urban peregrines meal at Høghuset at Bryne in Norway, sometimes you need to remember to look up, and down, to find traces of wildilfe in the cities. Photo by Ellen Hagen.
14693929_271794766554560_6304350011513634816_n

Flaggermus og falker

‘Bats and falcons’, English below each paragraph

I Finland ble det nylig tatt et bilde av en kjøttmeis som spiste på en mus, (en spurvehauk og ei skjære var uenige om hvem hadde rett på den, så kjøttmeisen begynte like greit å spise av den) noe som vakte endel oppsikt. Vi tenker ofte at småfuglene bare spiser frø, men de spiser variert kost av både frø og insekter, og ja, av og til kjøtt. For 10-15 år siden ble det gjort rapport fra en hula i Spania hvor det var påvist predasjon på flaggermus, av kjøttmeis! Selv om kjøttmeisen ikke har det krumme nebbet til rovfuglene, så tyder det på at de har hakket hull i hodet på flaggermusen for å spise på den (mye næring i hjernen). Under harde kår kan dyr måtte ty til andre matkilder og metoder, slik er naturen både brutal men vakker. Både høns og duer kan bli veldig aggressive og kan hakke sine egne i flokken til blods, og høner er faktisk kjent for å spise kjøtt. (Tekst fortsetter under bilde, bilde via VG).

Recently in Finland, a great tit was photographed eating on a dead mouse. A sparrowhawk and a magpie did not agree on whom had the rights on this winter meal, and as they were busy between themselves, this great tit saw the opportunity of just digging right into this fresh meal. We often forget that small birds eat other things than just seeds, they have a rich and varied diet, also including insects and at time, like this, some of them might eat meat. Years ago in a cave in Spain, there was a study of behavior on great tits and on bats, and how the great tit predated on them. The great tit does not have a curved and sharp beak like predatory birds, but they still manage to peak through the head of the bats (to get the brain). Under harsh conditions animals adapt to other food sources and methods, this is how nature works in a brutal yet beautiful way. Both chickens and doves can be very aggressive towards their own kind, they have a pecking order, and chickens might even peck a fellow hen to blood runs free. Chickens eating meat is nothing new either. (Photo of the great tit eating a mouse is from http://www.vg.no)

4b6f31eb2a4636ebbb65167b6655dad5

Fra å gå fra den lille kjøttmeisen til en ordentlig rovfugl, så har vi blant annet vandrefalken. Vandrefalken jakter ikke bare på dagtid, men også i skumring, og faktisk kan den fange flaggermus. Det er kjent både i Nord Amerika, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia og enkelte plasser i Europa at vandrefalken jakter i nattens mulm og mørke ved hjelp av kunstig lys fra bylivet. Det gjør at vandrefalken kan benytte andre tider av døgnet til jakt til tross for vinterstid og korte døgn helt her nordpå også. Kamerabilder fra Høghuset på Bryne viser at vandrefalken også der jakter også i mørkestid. Det er en typisk utvikling blant urbane vandrefalker, de lærer seg å forholde seg til byen ved at det kunstige lyset reflekteres rundt på bygg, og at de kan bruke skygge fra bygg for å angripe byttene sine. Her er en rapport som tar for seg dette, fra British Birds i 2008; Diet and prey selection of urban-dwelling Peregrine Falcons in southwest England Edward J.A. Drewitt and Nick Dixon.

Moving from the great tit (which literally means meat tit in Norwegian!), lets go to a real raptor, like the peregrine. Peregrine falcons are not just diurnal hunters, the also hunt when darkness falls, and at times they even eat bats. It is observed in North America, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Austraila and in Europe that peregrines hunt in the dark in cities because artificial light brighten up the urban city. That means that the peregrine has an advantage and can hunt beyond daytime even here in the Scandinavia. Camera footage from the iconic ‘Høghuset’ in Bryne city in Norway show just this kind of nocturnal hunting. This is an adapted method of hunting seen in urban peregrines, they learn how to use the artificial light that is reflected on buildings, and they have learned to ‘hide’ in the shadow as a benefit for stacking their prey. Here is a report from British birds in 2008 about this; Diet and prey selection of urban-dwelling Peregrine Falcons in southwest England Edward J.A. Drewitt and Nick Dixon

Bildet er hentet fra Pinterest. (Photo from Pinterest).8a319c52623775a34681694acd2b7fc7

Hekkekasse for tårnfalken

common_kestrelBilde er hentet fra Wikipedia: By Benbowen 

Har du sett en fin liten falk sveve midt i luften (litt som en kolibri), så har du nok sett tårnfalken. Tårnfalken (Falco tinnunculus) er en liten falk på mellom 130-250 gram for en hann, og opptil 315 gram for hunn. En stor pakke med smør er jo 520 gram, så de veier veldig lite 🙂

Tårnfalkene ser også UV-lys, dermed kan de spore opp byttedyr som mus ved å følge skvetter av urin på bakken. De har skarpe nebb og klarer fint å partere og svelge unna bytte sitt, og kaster opp en gulpebolle for det den ikke klarer å fordøye (skinn og bein). Tårnfalken er grei å lage hekkekasse til, og veldig koselig å ha i nærheten og praktisk om en har litt museproblemer.

Det er mye kjek informasjon å finne om tårnfalken hos American Kestrel Partnership i USA. Du kan velge mellom å lage en fuglekasse (bare gang målene med 2,5 som er inches) eller en falkeboks (faktisk oppgitt i mål med millimeter så slipper du å omkalkulere), og av og til velger tårnfalken toppen av en øde låve eller kirketårn. Fant også en norsk pdf med mer info om reirkasser for tårnfalk og praktisk vedlikehold fra RSPB i England.

Pass på at andre dyr som katter og lignende ikke lett får tilgang til kassen. Sørg for å drill hull under slik at vann og annet kan renne ut, og tenk litt at kassen ikke henger rett ved eller over en veg slik at når fuglene skal lære seg å fly så havner de ikke rett i farlig trafikk.

Og er du usikker på om du har fått noen beboere i kassen? Sjekk etter skittmerker, ofte hviteflekker. Så fall får du ha husvasken senere 🙂 Det er kjekt å samle fjær og gulpeboller til naturprosjekter, bare husk å behandle gulpebollene en rask tur i mikroen først for å drepe bakterier, eller legg dem i en isolert boks.

falkenloz Bilde er hentet fra Wikipedia By Loz who agrees to publication under the following license – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link“>Uncle of Loz

Her er en annen stilig hekkekasse fra http://www.owlandkestrel.co.uk/ bandq_kestrels.jpg

Gribbens dag i dag – International Vulture Awareness Day

13934941_858618884269171_3270487663056262130_n.jpg3.september er den internasjonale dagen for å formidle om gribber! Vi har jo ikke gribber i Norge, men vi har andre fugler som gjør litt av samme greia som gribbene, de rensker opp i naturen. Ørner og våker spiser gjerne kadaver, og det er viktig for naturen at noen ‘gjør rent’. Slik er det med gribbene også, de ‘spiser rent bord’ som man sier, problemet er at gribbene nærmer seg utryddelse, og forsvinner gribbene blir det en miljøkatastrofe. De største farene for gribbene er dødelig kollisjon med høyspent ledninger og gift lagt i kadaver, og diclofenac som er i veterinærmedisiner brukt på tamfe er dødelig for dem.

International Vulture Awareness  kort info.

Vulpro er et naturbevaringsprosjekt for å redde og rehabilitere gribber.

Jeg har selv håndtert gribber i England i forbindelse med rovfuglhåndtering, og er blitt ganske betatt av også gribbenes personligheter. Noen synes, uten å ta en nærmere kikk, at gribber er ‘stygge’. Men tar du en nærmere kikk, så kan du se noe ganske utrolig. Først og fremst har gribber stort sett lite eller ingen fjærdekning på hodet. Det er fordi at de stikker hodet inn i kadaveret og blir tilgriset, da er det upraktisk med fjær på hodet fordi fjærdrakten må pusses og holdes i orden. Noen gribber har også flott rosa hud, noen ‘rødmer’ faktisk når de blir ivrige eller glade, det er faktisk ganske morsomt å se. Gribber har heller ikke noen form for luktesans eller smaksløker, de har derimot godt syn (noen har og blå vakre, øyner!) og flokker seg sammen når et kadaver blir funnet. Fordelen med å ikke ha verken lukt- eller smakssans, er at om kadaveret er ferskt, eller flere dager gammelt, så kan gribbene hive innpå uten at de blir plaget av fordervet mat. Magesyra til gribbene er faktisk så sterk at den dreper alle farlige bakterier som finnes i dyret, de blir ikke syke av det de spiser. Siden gribber lever i varmt klima, så gjør de også en annen litt ‘ufin’ ting, i motsetning til f eks andre rovfugler som letter på stjerten og skyter avføring fint vekk fra seg, så letter gribben på trykket rett nedover beina sine. Da blir de avkjølt på beina i prosessen. Noe av de viktigste med at disse fuglene spiser rent døde dyr, er det at kadaver forgifter drikkevann, og det gir store problemer. Gribben er et symbol på et sundt økosystem.

Gribbene er litt uheldige likevel, for det er en fugl som gjerne må promoteres ekstra for å få sympati for et dyr som ikke faller naturlig som søtt, majestetisk eller nusselig. Ulvunger, pandaer og andre sjarmerende og truede dyr, får sympati med en gang, mens gribbene, de er gjerne litt stereotypisk ‘skummle’, og de blir jo fremstilt slik i filmer også når noen dør i en ørken så kommer gribben svevende som mannen med ljåen.

Her kan du ta en fin liten quiz å se hvilken gribbtype du er (med søte illustrasjoner), prøv og del gjerne på facebook så vi får spredt info om gribbenes behov for hjelp. Vi trenger et økosystem med alle dyr,  uansett hvor søte eller rare de er.

Her er et kortfilm med litt mer funfacts om gribbene, og en oversikt av de 23 artene med gribber i verden.

Fortsetter under bildet.

CrcQK9DXYAEXaV-.jpg

Under er det et utvalg av gribber jeg har sett og håndtert, er de ikke flotte? Min favoritt er nok enda lammegribben (den hvite), en ser ut som en forhistorisk fugl.

14184301_870110483120011_6902377875541838974_n14224850_10102871338042752_3290313592239508822_n

En venn av meg sendte meg denne etter jeg delte det første bilde på facebook i dag, da måtte jeg le! Jeg bor gjerne med noen gribbe jeg, de er jo utrolig spennende fugler.

 

 

Sheep farmers tired of golden eagles

Early this summer the Norwegian Parlament approved a culling of golden eagles in Norway. Why? In favor of livestock economy.

However, this does not stop here. Ever since the rise of the eagle population, farmers have been the largest threat for them, claming them to be too many and out of control. There are laws for taking out eagles doing damage, but just now farmers want to take matters in their own hands by using necessity, meaning a way of justification for breaking the law. How will they do that? They have somehow managed to claim a no flight zone under 35 meter above ground level for eagles in their municipality. Giving them, or so they think, justification to kill an eagle before a real attack. In the end of the article it becomes clear that Fitjar sheep and goats society actually promoto others to use necessity as a false claim as a way to kill an eagle, because you can technically get away with illegal killing..

I want to spread this information to make people aware of the bad predator politics and relationships in Norway, and am afraid this is just the top of the ice berg we will be hearing in near future regarding ways of culling golden eagles across the entire country. It is already documentet in a bird ringing atlas that only 5% of golden eagles die of natural causes in Norway, and that 47% are shoot, meaning illegal killing is a concerning problem. Future golden eagle population will start to decline within the next 30 years if the eagles do not get a stable production of eggs and chicks. The only concern made by political representatives in Norway, is that the regulated population will stick to the estimated goal, and not break any international conventions. They say that, but what will actually happen within the future might in fact result in serious conservation issuses. And there is still too little focus on eagle predation and understanding golden eagle behavior in Norway.

Please read the translated version below:

Information from Sunnhordaland newspaper below. Photo by Jan Rabben.

”The golden eagle takes lambs in Fitjar” is the headline of the article, and continues: Fitjar sheep and goats have decided on a complete flight restriction zone in the  entire municipality.

With immediate effect from today Fitjar sheep and goats have introduced a ‘no flight zone’ for golden eagles that fly below 35 meters above ground level. Golden eagles that attack lambs will be killed without any advance notice.

In Fitjar there is at least one eagle pair that has specialized in taking lambs. The photo in the article (above) is from the eagle’s nest this summer, and shows that the eagles have brought lambs to the nest many times. (?)

Fitja sheep and goats wish to live alongside nature, where also the golden eagle can obtain its important role. However, we cannot accept that certain individuals manage to destory the foundation of managing livestock. With the focus on animal welfare we cannot accept that the pain and agony inflicted on the lambs by the eagle. We have a joined responsibility to uphold this. Eagle problems has been a massive media case for several years.

Showing (…) to posts in the local newspaper ‘from one sheep farmer in Bømlo . The authority has received so much information on the case,  that there is no longer doubt that it is the eagle that is behind this. Getting approved lisences has been sought after, but without result . Sheep farmers sit with binders full of papers without getting any solutions for solving the case problem. Fitjar sheep and goats urge now that sheep farmers resolve those problem locally and on a low level without involving any kind of bureaucracy. The Supreme Court gave in 2014 a sheep farmer support and approval of using necessity if predators attacked sheep or lambs . It is this law we now want to make full use off.

Sheep farmers must know that to use necessity, it is restricted to these situations:

* Killing can only happen if predators chase, is about to attack or is attacking livestock, reindeer , pigs , dogs and poultry.

* There is a demand for a clear and objective understanding for why the predator is attacking . Objectively speaking the attack is over when the animal ( ex. sheep)is dead . The necessity may therefore only be executed as long as the attacked animal ( ex. sheep) is alive.

With these criteria at base, you have a good starting point to be absolved in a subsequent criminal proceeding. After killing an eagle with necessity you must immediately notify the police. Here you will get first hand priority.  

This can still work as a deterrent, but rememeber that you acted out of necessity for your animals and your responsibilities for animal welfare . Fitjar sheep and goats want to help each sheep farmer who needs help in a demanding investigation . It is hard to stand alone against state power with all the resources accessible .

End of article