Successful recovery of Ambra, the second lanner released this summer

A successful recovery in southern Italy

Ambra is the second lanner which we released this year. She was constantly monitored via GPS as planned for all released specimens, and she was additionally equipped with a VHF transmitter to facilitate any possible rescue operation. After her release, she headed South until she reached the Aspromonte National Park in Calabria. Then she went up again along the Ionian coast. Arrived in Taranto, she changed direction towards the Alta Murgia National Park, in the Foggia area. Close to the town of S. Severo, the GPS signal showed short and infrequent movements, so a rescue operation was organized.

Just like Aida had done before her, after spending about 40 days in the vicinity of the hacking box, Ambra decided to leave for good. She travelled for almost two thousand kilometers in 8 days, flying almost non-stop, spending very little time looking for food. At least, this is what can be inferred from an initial analysis of the GPS data and the nutritional status of the animal at the time of recovery.

successful recovery
A map of Ambra’s flight from her GPS device. The dates are marked next to her path.

Unexpected behaviour for lanner falcons

Both Aida and Ambra spent an initial phase of adaptation and learning around the hacking box. Then, once they trained enough to become strong flyers, they decided to move away from their nest. This behaviour is unusual for the lanner falcon, and also for other raptor species in this kind of release protocol.

During all the time spent in the wild during the first phase, the animals showed a very regular and constant behaviour due to their strong attachment to the site. The complete change of behaviour we have seen is currently being evaluated by the LIFE Lanner scientific committee with the collaboration of external experts.

Ambra was brought back to the Lake Vico rescue centre to regain her strength and all the lost weight. Our project staff is developing a new strategy to allow for a new release of Ambra and her siblings, as foreseen for the current year.