Project Aims

The protection of animals and plants is an international responsibility and a challenge to all concerned. The necessary international collaboration and the development of efficient protection strategies are particularly relevant to species such as the Golden Eagle that uses its environment at large scales. One aim of the AQUILALP.NET is to intensify cooperation between Protected Area administrations in the partner regions. The coordinated and standardised quantification of Golden Eagle numbers in five spatially significant protected areas of the Eastern Alps (in total an area of 3 200 km² is included in the present study) will allow a quality control of the effectiveness of an interregional protection strategy for a protected species under Appendix 1 of the Birds Directive of the European Union. Further, the ALQUILALP.NET Project should provide a stimulus to promote general public awareness of efforts to protect the alpine flora and fauna.

Recording and documenting the Golden Eagle populations within the project sites

The numbers and distributions of Golden Eagle breeding pairs will be determined within a selection of large Natura 2000 areas within the AQUIALP.NET project. Co-ordinated recording, regular controls of the eyrie (nesting) sites and standardised methods will allow scientifically exact documentation and comparisons of the reproduction rates of this bird of prey. As a supplement to the reproduction data, all important location characteristics of nesting sites are to be recorded within a standardised scheme. Particular attention will be given to those parameters that indicate present or potential disturbances to the species.

Documentation of the feeding habits of the Golden Eagle in selected areas

Golden Eagles are generalists in their diet. This means that their prey spectrum varies greatly regionally and also seasonally. To obtain a realistic idea of the variety of prey taken by the eagles within their own areas, it is necessary to undertake diet analyses from remains found within selected nests.

Checking the coherence of the Natura 2000 network

The coordinated recording of the Golden Eagle populations in the project areas, together with the integrated methodology, provides an opportunity to check the efficiency of the interregional Natura 2000 Network, using a concrete example from the European Union Birds Directive.

Public Relations work for alpine nature conservation

The strong public image of the Golden Eagle as an important species for protection, together with the results from this AQUILALP.NET project, may be used as a further advertisement for the protection of alpine natural and cultural landscapes. Extra to this web site the following measures have been planned:

  •  Yearly production of a Golden Eagle Newsletter
  •  A travelling exhibition about the Golden Eagle and alpine nature  reserves
  •  Publication of a brochure on the Golden Eagle and the results of this  project

  supported by the European Regional Development Fund
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