The Project

There is perhaps no other animal that is more closely associated with the alpine environment than the golden eagle. Although the Golden Eagle has clearly become a symbol of the freedom and unspoiled natural beauty of the Alps, even here it has not always been the undisputed king of the air. Excessive, uncontrolled hunting in combination with changes to the environment caused eagle numbers to decrease dramatically in the Alps as well as elsewhere towards the end of the 19th Century. Today the golden eagle is no longer under such direct threat in the Alps, and populations are generally stable. Even so, these birds must still be regarded as potentially under threat because human influences could quickly reverse the present trend. It is for this reason that the Golden Eagle is protected under the European Birds Directive.

The Austrian-Italian region of the Eastern Alps is one of the more important areas of Golden Eagle habitat in Europe. The eagles use their environment at very large scales (their territories are between 30 and 100 km² in size). This means that they require very big nature reserves with an internationally coordinated protection strategy. The AQUILALP.NET Project aims to identify and document populations of Golden Eagles within selected protected areas in the Eastern Alps and to use the information obtained to develop a coordinated strategy for the protection of the species in this trans-border region.

  supported by the European Regional Development Fund
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