Predrag Bata Ristanovic is one of the founders of the Birds of Prey Foundation and its longtime president. You can read about him:
Griffon Vulture Igor is one of the vultures who has been in the satellite tracking program for some time. Igor was released on 7.9.2019. with satellite transmitter (more about that here… »). He fit in well, often staying at the restorant for vultures, as recorded by video surveillance cameras.
20.11. he also visited Mileševka, where the “Emergency” situation happened. According to the data we follow daily, we have noticed that on the 20.11. between 6 and 8 in the morning something significant happened to the transmitter. Most likely the teflon strap was broken. The “xyz axes” of the accelerometer changed abruptly, which clearly indicated that the position of the device, which was on the back of the bird, had suddenly changed and was hanging. Another parameter confirming this change is the sudden drop in temperature registered by the transmitter to just 10C. When the transmitter is on the bird and the condition is regularly the temperature it shows is 20-36C. However, we also knew that the transmitter did not go down and that Igor was moving, surprisingly, very well. He flew over Uvac and behaved normally for the next 28 hours.
We closely followed the events and on the 21.11. at 12 o’clock, the transmitter stopped moving, the temperature was practically ambient (from -2 to 15C, depending on the time of day). The “xyz axes” of the accelerometer indicated that the transmitter was partially facing the ground. Sunlight was well received by the solar panel, and the batteries were charging normally, again indicating that the device was not in too dense vegetation. As there was a possibility that the bird had fallen too, we immediately alerted the Rangers of JP “Reserve Uvac” and sent them the coordinates.
We had the coordinates, but also the difficulty that the transmitter was partially turned to the ground, so GPS “saw” fewer satellites, which meant less location accuracy. The Rangers soon took to the field and were unable to find either the bird or the transmitter.
In order to minimize the location error and try to get the Rangers as accurate as possible to the location where the transmitter is located, we have done so-called. “burst”, that is, taking a large number of GPS points and short time. We eliminated all points that were located with fewer satellites and where HDOP (Horizontal Dilution of Precision) was inappropriate. The rest points were the most reliable.
Soon the Ranger team took to the field again, this time with more precise data and found the transmitter!
Many thanks to our Rangers for their quick action and sacrifice!
It remains for us to study the Teflon strap by which the transmitter binds to the bird and to try to determine what exactly happened, or why the transmitter fell. Igor is probably fine and we are awaiting his next finding at the “restourant” or otherwise.
Frames from the action of finding the transmitter:
On October 27, 2019, the Griffon Vulture named “Luka” fell near the Drina River and “requested” people’s help. Laza, a guard from the Trešnjica River Gorge Special Nature Reserve, transferred him to a cage. Luka was named as a memory of our friend and legend of Tresnjica Luka, a man who made it possible to open and operate a feeding facility on Tresnjica at a time when there was no one else.
This is the third marked Griffon Vulture on Trešnjica, and more recently the first! In 1990, the adult Griffon Vulture named Marko was marked, with a yellow stamp and a no. “1” in collaboration with colleague Ištvan Ham. Marko nested on the Orlovača rock for the next three years and then disappeared. Then, on the Trešnica, the Griffon Vulture Mitar was marked in 1996. We later recorded him only on Uvac, so we estimate that the bird was originally from Uvac and that he got sick while visiting Trešnjica. And there is the El Greco Vulture marked in Greece at the Dadia Reserve in 2002. This bird has been nesting in Trešnjica, on the Vratnica rock from 2008. until today.
However, in recent years we have not had any marked Vultures on Trešnjica and that is why Luka is very important to us. We are working to improve the monitoring of Vultures in Trešnjica. In addition to marking, we also intend to set up a satellite transmitter to get to know about the needs and habits of Griffon Vultures from Trešnjica and to apply effective protection measures to this colony.
The XV Contest for Best Photography in 2019 – “Birds in Action” has received 105 works by 28 authors. Jury consisting of: Zoran Milutinović, Aleksandar Milosavljević, Saša Preradović and Jozef Gergelj met on 11.11.2019. It was not an easy task to choose from the great number of excellent works the three best ones, as well as 35 photographs that will be displayed at the exhibition from 7th to 13th of December 2019, at the Cultural Center “Vlada Divljan”, Metropolitan Petra Street no. 8 in Belgrade.
As always, the award-winning photo will be on the Foundation’s new poster, and the top 12 will also be on the 2020 calendar.
Promotion of the Foundation’s works, new calendar and posters will be at 7PM on the December 7th, 2019 at the “Vlada Divljan” Culture Center. The trailer about the Griffon Vultures movie will also be shown on the occasion.
THANK YOU for participation and congratulations to the authors of the award-winning works.
On Thursday, 07.11.2019. from 8PM in the big hall of the Institute of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade (Studentski trg 16), you will have the opportunity to learn about all modern aspects of the protection of Griffon Vultures in Serbia. The lecture will be delivered by Dr Saša Marinković from the Department of Ecology at the Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković”.
A young Griffon Vulture was found exhausted near the Drina River, and near the vulture’s colony in the Tresnjica River. Laza, the guard of the Reserve, captured, fed and fed him. If everything goes well, this bird is the candidate who should be the first to have a satellite transmitter in the Tresnjica colony.
The European standard is that there should be at least one to two Griffon Vulturews in each colony with a satellite transmitter, to be monitored daily. In this way we come to the key information needed for protection, such as rapid intervention in the event of various accidents such as poisoning or other habitat disturbance.
We hope we are going to use program and experiences from Uvac, where we have been tracking vultures for quite some time this way (more on the GPS tracking page). .. » ), to be applied in the Tresnjica colony. Realization is planned for next spring. For now, the bird remains in shelter. If released him in the spring, we increase the likelihood of survival.