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Regular project updates

01/04/2008 14:13:35

There are a few projects, happenings and bits of research that, for no other reason than they interest me, we will keep you updated regularly on.

Wild boar and young in Sussex. © Martin Goulding.

Wild boar in Britain.
Wild boar are now believed to be roaming free in England, in Kent, Sussex, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Dorset, with occasional sightings from other counties. The Kent and Sussex populations are believed to have bred from boars that escaped from two farms in 1987 during the 'great storm'. Over 100 boar were released by animal rights protesters from a farm in Devon in 2005 and less than half of these were recaptured. More.

Great Bustard over Salisbury Plain. © Great Bustard Group.

Great Bustards in Britain
Bustards became extinct in the UK in the first half of the 19th Century. In February 2004 the Russian authorities granted a licence to collect Bustard eggs, and subsequently in September twenty four Great Bustard chicks were released into a large holding pen on the Salisbury plain. In 2005 a further 35 Bustards were brought to the Salisbury plain. See the full story and the latest news.

Ospreys in England and Wales
In 1996 after years of planning and hard work, Ospreys were re-introduced to England on Rutland water by relocating some Juvenile birds from Scotland.

There must have been a small, ironic smile that appeared on 1-2 faces when Ospreys bred recently in the Lake District and in Wales without any human help at all. However it is thought that 1-2 of the birds involved originated from Rutland. Several Ospreys have returned to Rutland this year and the breeding couple have bred again. The Ospreys in Wales and the Lake district have also laid eggs again this year.

Ospreys in Wales

The ospreys in Wales hatched three chicks in May, their best brood yet. Sadly one of the chicks died unexpectedly at the end of June, probably of natural causes. These ospreys can been seen at Glaslyn.

11 July. First Osprey chick fledges at Glaslyn.

Ospreys in England

There are two known osprey nests in England, at Rutland Water and in the Lake District at Bassenthwaite. The Bassenthwaite ospreys laid three eggs, thought to be a female and two males. As of beginning of July the chicks were growing well.

29 May. The Rutland ospreys, as suspected, hatched three eggs this year, a male and two females. The chicks were ringed towards the end of June and all three appear to be growing very well.

18 July. The Bassenthwaite Ospreys have been ringed and are preparing to leave the nest.

Ospreys in Scotland

The Loch Garten ospreys have hatched three chicks in 2006, though due to some 'nest hopping' it is possible that they may have more than one father. All three chicks were ringed at the beginning of July, it is thought that all three are females.

The chicks fledged succesfully in mid July.

The Aberfoyle Ospreys hatched 3 chicks, and they fledged in Mid July. However one chick disappeared after fledging, very unusual as they normally return to the nest, and has not been seen since.

The Loch of the Lowes ospreys hatched three eggs, but unfortunately only one chick survived to fledge towards the end of July.

Golden Eagles in Ireland
The Golden Eagle became extinct in Ireland in the early 20th Century. From 2001-5 42 Golden Eagle chicks were relocated to Donegal in an attempt to re-establish the Golden Eagle in North West Ireland. At least half of these birds are still alive, and in 2005 the first egg was laid, though it failed to hatch.

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