Reinforcement of Lesser Spotted Eagle population in Germany
In 2007–2011, Riga Zoo participated in a joint project of Teiči Nature Reserve, Latvia, and German Wildlife Foundation (Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung), aimed at reinforcing the Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina) population in Germany. The project was conducted based on the cainism phenomenon. Cainism, or fratricide, is a survival adaptation characteristic of this eagle species – the eldest chick kills the younger one if a rich food source is not available. However, the phenomenon only occurs within the first weeks in eaglets’ life. If the second chick is removed from the nest and hand-raised during the first weeks, later it can be placed in the parents’ (or foster parents’) nest and raised without being subjected to cainism. In 2007–2011, a total of 46 Lesser Spotted Eagle chicks from Latvia were hand-raised at Riga Zoo and sent to Germany for adoption in wild nests.
Publications (by other authors)
Meyburg B.-U., Bergmanis U., Langgemach T., Graszynski K., Hinz A., Borner I., Meyburg C., Vansteelant W.M.G. 2017. Orientation of native versus translocated juvenile lesser spotted eagles (Clanga pomarina) on the first autumn migration. Journal of Experimental Biology 220: 2765–2776.