Raptor conservation in the Balkans and Turkey
 

We aim to understand the causes of ongoing population declines in Egyptian Vultures and develop strategies to save the species in the region. Threats to Egyptian Vultures are diverse and include poisoning, electrocution, direct persecution, and changes in land use and livestock farming. We conduct and support annual breeding success monitoring in four countries, track birds with satellite transmitters, and work with partners along the flyway to identify and reduce threats in 12 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Egyptian Vulture by Paul Donald
 
Eradication of invasive species from islands


Invasive non-native species are a main concern for biodiversity, especially on islands. Eradicating invasive species is a useful conservation strategy, but often difficult to implement. I work with partners in the UK and internationally to prioritise islands on which eradication would provide the greatest benefits to native species, and conduct research how eradications on priority islands can be conducted successfully. I also provide the scientific support for the restoration of Gough and Henderson Island, two UK Overseas Territory islands of globally significant value for conservation.

 

Seabird tracking for MPA identification
 

Seabirds are spectacular species that travel far and wide across the world's oceans. With many collaborators we are trying to identify the foraging areas of seabirds nesting on Ascension, St Helena, the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, Malta, Henderson, and some Caribbean islands by tracking birds with satellite transmitters or GPS loggers. For most projects we aim to identify areas that could be proposed as marine protected areas, but we also examine the spatial scales at which conservation solutions are needed across a broad taxonomic spectrum.

 
Bird monitoring on UK Overseas Territories


From the forests on Montserrat to the seabird assemblages on St Helena or Gough Island, I support local partners on these territories to design efficient monitoring programmes and analyse these data to infer whether populations are stable or declining. This includes mostly bird counts, but also demographic data, nest monitoring, and more detailed assessments of population densities of some species of conservation concern.

 

RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK.

© 2019 by Steffen Oppel

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