Showcasing our work at the Stelvio National Park

We took part in this year’s census of golden eagle and bearded vulture

On October 8-10, the LIFE LANNER staff took part in the 36th census of golden eagles and bearded vulture at the Stelvio National Park! Here, we had the chance to present our LIFE Project to more than 100 participants, as part of the various topics covered in meetings related to the bird census.

This was an exciting opportunity to exchange information and opinions with a large number of keen ornithologists, both professional and not, who have long been involved in the protection of birds of prey in Italy.

We talked about our project, approaches, results (both negative and positive), and especially about the use of falconry techniques in captive lanner breeding. Falconry skills can help us introduce subjects who can quickly become autonomous in hunting and hopefully, one day, in reproduction. The aim is of course that of repopulating this species, which is disappearing from our territories.

Captive breeding for endangered species conservation

The knowledge acquired by long-standing Italian breeding centres is unique in terms of functionality and sensitivity. Using this knowledge can maximize the reproductive success of the lanner couples trained at the Ente Monti Cimini, leader of the LIFE LANNER project, and the only Italian public institution breeding this species. Our facility hosts four breeding pairs at the moment.

Captive breeding is a technique widely used in various endangered species conservation projects globally, always attempting to maintain the species’ genetic heritage for subsequent reintroductions. Falconry methods can increase psycho-physical well-being and therefore reproductive success in captive couples, and therefore it can increase the number of subjects available for releases. Training methods aimed at introducing the animal to hunting can be help rescued specimens with rehabilitation. In the case of young birds who have never captured live prey, they can also ensure self-sufficiency once released.

The conservation of endangered species (the lanner in our case) must become the common goal of different categories of stakeholders who need to work together for the sole purpose of safeguarding nature.

We thank the organizers of the census for giving us the opportunity to showcase our work, get to know each other and spark new collaborations to achieve our goals, with the common aim of protecting the lanner in Italy.

One of the LIFE LANNER specimens during flight training.