Open Access

Post-fledging dependence period, dispersal movements and temporary settlement areas in saker falcons (Falco cherrug)


Information on mortality rates and their causes in raptors and owls during the post-fledging dependency period (PFDP) and subsequent dispersal is essential for their more effective protection, including more efficient use of funds. Despite the importance of the above data, these data are not yet available for most birds of prey. The study aimed to provide and expand the knowledge in this field for saker falcon. We used satellite telemetry to monitor a total of six young birds since they left the nest boxes. All young birds survived the PFDP, but none survived to adulthood and died during the period of dispersal movements. The PFDP lasted 47 days (median value hereinafter), and the distance of individuals from the nest boxes during this period was 3.2 km (maximum distance 9 km). The area of the home range of the PFDP calculated by the 100% minimum convex polygon (MCP) method was 81 km2. During the period of dispersal movements, the monitored individuals set up five temporary settlement areas with an area of 422 km2 according to 100% MCP, where they stayed for 37 days. All individuals’ mean length of movement routes throughout the monitoring period was 3862 km. The main finding of the present study is the fact that none of the monitored individuals survived the dispersal period. At least half of them died due to human activity (electrocution, hunting), which is probably unbearable in the long term for wild populations of most animal species. This shows the need to start eliminating all types of artificial traps (e.g., electrocution, hunting, poisoning, etc.) without delay, thus helping to prevent the decline of populations of many species in the shorter or longer time horizon.

Publication timeframe:
1 time per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Zoology