King of the Skies

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© Pavel Bace

With their keen eyes Eagles stand for perspicacity and for courage and strength too. With these attributed qualities the King of the Skies became a symbol of power and strength in Ancient Rome.

But these majestic creatures are now threatened with extinction all over Europe. Even though the various eagle species require very different features for their habitat there is one thing they all have in common: hether the habitats they come to are open, extensively farmed meadows and pastures or wild riverscapes – eagles need space and intact habitats.

What are the threats to Eagles in Europe?

Disturbance during breeding times, egg thieves, direct persecution, poisonous substances in the environment, changes in land use by humans, lack of prey and shrinking habitats. All these factors make it hard for eagles to survive in Europe.


Where does EuroNatur work for the protection of Eagles?
EuroNatur's focus in working for the protection of eagles is on the extensive preservation of natural and near-natural, cultivated landscapes in Europe. Key areas are in Southern Europe, the Balkan Green Belt, the Eastern Adriatic along the Adriatic Flyway, but also in Spain, Greece and Germany. Alongside habitat protection EuroNatur is heavily involved in the campaign to prevent bird hunting – above all in the Balkans.

  • Balkan Green Belt – where the Imperial eagle circles overhead: In the Sakar hills of Bulgaria birds of prey find particularly good conditions: Short-toed Snake Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, the Booted Eagle breed here; Eurasian Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, White Scavenger Vulture and Greater Spotted Eagle come in search of prey or to find a resting place on their migration. EuroNatur is working to preserve this valuable cultural landscape. Read more about EuroNatur's work in the Sakar Hills.
  • Balkan Green Belt – the lifelines of the Drava and Mura rivers: the Kopacki Rit where the Drava flows into the Danube is of outstanding importance as a breeding terrain and wintering spot for the White-tailed or Sea Eagle because of its abundant supply of food. EuroNatur is campaigning for the creation of a five-country biosphere nature reserve here which could give this pristine riverscape lasting protection as a valuable habitat for eagles. Read more about EuroNatur's work in this field in Drava and Mura
  • In the Heart of Bulgaria – the Kotel Mountains: In the eastern part of the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria, in the mosaic-like cultural landscape of the Kotel Mountains, birds of prey such as the Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle and Saker Falcon find the habitat they need. EuroNatur is working to keep the open-country character of the landscape for these endangered species. This requires mowing or extensive grazing. Read more about EuroNatur's work in this area in Kotel Mountain.
  • Macedonia – a new home for the Imperial Eagle and Lesser Kestrel: there is an oasis for rare birds of prey which lies in the East of Macedonia. Here the steppe-like open country of Ovce Pole welcomes them. EuroNatur will be supporting the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) in their work to further improve the breeding success of the Imperial Eagle and the Lesser Kestrel in this area. With this work we are making an important contribution to the preservation of these critically endangered birds of prey species in Europe.
  • Oasis on the Eastern Adriatic – the Livanjsko Polje: the Lesser Spotted Eagle has its most south-westerly breeding site here on the Balkan peninsula in the Livanjsko Polje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It breeds in ancient woods of alders, oaks and and ash-trees together with the only pair of Sea Eagles near the Adria. But Livanjsko Polje is also of inestimable value as a resting place for wintering birds of prey along the Adriatic Flyway. EuroNatur is working to  preserve this habitat. Read more about EuroNatur's work in Livanjsko Polje.
  • Adriatic Flyway-Salt and the Greater Spotted Eagle in the salt flats of Ulcinj: Eagles find a resting place which is vital for their survival on the Adriatic Flyway in the salt flats of Ulcinj in Montenegro which lies in part of the Bojana-Buna Delta. In only three years 25 species of birds of prey and six owl species have been identified here. Ospreys circle over the salt flats in the autumn and are joined in winter by the Greater Spotted Eagle. EuroNatur is working to preserve the slat flats of Ulcinj as a paradise for birds of prey. Read more about EuroNatur's work in Bojana-Buna Delta.
  • Tilos - Bird paradise in the Aegean: The Greek island of Tilos proves that bird protection benefits enormously from a complete ban on hunting. The ban has been in place since 1993: the inhabitants have enforced it themselves and kept it up for years despite massive pressure from the hunting lobby. Bonelli's Eagle and the Long-legged Buzzard find abundant prey here. Read more about EuroNatur's work on Tilos.
  • Sava water meadows - White-tailed Eagles galore: the Croatian Sava water meadows are of enormous importance to the White-Tailed or Sea Eagle. In wide bends and curves the Sava flows freely south-east of Zagreb like a life-line through one of the largest meadowland areas in Europe and with its meandering flow it creates a huge diversity of habitats. In the Sava riparian forests alone 60 Sea Eagle pairs and 40 Lesser Spotted Eagle pairs have built their eyries. EuroNatur is fighting for the preservation of this unique river landscape. Read more here about EuroNatur's work in the Sava water meadows.
  • Asturias- the return of the Osprey: For far too long the Osprey had disappeared from the skies in Northern Spain. EuroNatur is supporting its Spanish partner Fapas in its project to re-establish the Osprey in Asturias.
  • Brandenburg – Germany's Eagle paradise: gentle rolling hills, luxuriant broadleaf forests, valleys with the glint of lakes, streams and rivers, light-filled mixed woods, meadows, open heathland and densely wooded gorges – Brandenburg captivates through the sheer diversity of habitats. White-tailed Eagle and Osprey are still at home here giving the place a hint of wilderness. EuroNatur is campaigning for the preservation of Germany's Eagle Paradise. Read more about EuroNatur's work in Brandenburg.

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