Today, January 10, marks Sea Eagles Protection Day, which was founded in the United States. The reason was the situation around the bald eagle, which is called there "bald sea eagle". This bird was on the verge of extinction in the middle of the twentieth century. But due to many conservation measures (total ban on shooting, protection of nesting sites, installation of artificial nesting platforms and bans on pesticides, etc.) in 2007 the bald eagle was removed from the endangered species.
The goal of Sea Eagles Protection Day is to raise awareness of the important role of sea eagles and other large birds of prey in nature, as many species are endangered due to shooting and poaching, pesticide use, extinction and hunting.
This day is also relevant for Ukraine. After all, in our country lives a relative of the American bald eagle – white-tailed eagle. In Ukraine, this bird occurs almost throughout the territory, near water bodies (swamps, lakes, rivers). It nestles along the Dnieper and its main tributaries, on the rivers Siversky Donets, Danube, as well as near large ponds in other regions.
The white-tailed eagle is listed on the IUCN Red List, the Red Book of Ukraine and the European Red List (rare status). In Ukraine, the main threats to the white-tailed eagle are forestry, poaching, increasing recreational loads near water bodies, depletion of forage, environmental pollution.
Why don't we follow the good example of the Americans in preserving these beautiful birds?!
Mykolaiv Zoo also keeps these birds. Today we have the white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in the number of 8 individuals and the Steller's sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus), also in the number of 8 individuals. These rare species of birds are not only kept in our zoo, but also successfully bred. The first male white-tailed eagle appeared in the collection of Mykolaiv Zoo in 1991, in 1995 a female came to us, a pair was created, and 10 years later we received the first offspring from this pair.
And the first two pairs of the Steller's sea eagle we received in 1999 under the program of breeding rare and endangered species.
Sea eagles of our zoo live in large round enclosures with a domed roof. In the center of the enclosure is an artificial granite rock, at the foot of which is a small pool. The nesting site is located at a height of 7 meters. Sand is used as a soil cover. Wild grapes grow around the enclosure on the outside. The zoo staff is trying to create conditions for birds that are as close as possible to natural. Specialists from the Department of Ornithology decorate enclosures and constantly enrich the environment for the comfortable habitat of birds. The basis of the diet of sea eagles is meat (beef, chicken) or mammals (mice, rats) and fish (freshwater and sea fish). Once a week there is a "hungry" day, when food is not given at all or fed 1/4 - 1/5 of the norm.
Providing good housing conditions, conducting educational work, and, most importantly, breeding sea eagles, Mykolaiv Zoo makes a significant contribution to the conservation of these birds.
And what can everyone do to save the birds listed in the Red List? For example, DO NOT take pictures with these birds yourself and share this information with friends and acquaintances. After all, if there is no demand for the business of "black photographers", then there will be no need to remove birds from nature!
"Photography services" with wild animals is a crime punishable by law.
So, let's get involved in this very important matter!