SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
Results of 30-Years Studies of Raptors Migration in Georgia
Alexander Abuladze
Institute of Zoology, Georgian Academy of Sciences/Bird Conservation Union of Georgia
Chavchavadze pr., 31, Tbilisi, 380079, Georgia

The territory of Georgia has a special importance for migrating Birds of Prey because of its specific location on the cross-roads between Europe and Asia on the way from breeding grounds in Fenno-Scandinavia, European part of Russia, Ural and Western Siberia to the Mediterranean, Middle East and African wintering quarters. The Black Sea coastlands and Kolkhida Lowland is especially an important. Migratory corridor and halting area, which is known as the «Eastern Black Sea migration route». According to data systematically collected since 1973, total 36 species of Falconiformes were registered at territory of Georgia. 28 are regularly recorded on passages and are considered migrants through the area - Pandion haliaetus, Pernis apivorus, Milvus migrans, Haliaeetus albicilla, Neophron percnopterus, Circaetus gallicus, Circus aeruginosus, Circus cyaneus, Circus macrourus, Circus pygargus, Accipiter gentilis, Accipiter nisus, Accipiter brevipes, Buteo buteo, Buteo rufinus, Buteo lagopus, Aquila pomarina, Aquila clanga, Aquila nipalensis, Aquila heliaca, Hieraetus pennatus, Falco naumanni, Falco tinnunculus, Falco vespertinus, Falco columbarius, Falco subbuteo, Falco cherrug, Falco peregrinus. Four species - Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps fulvus, Aegypius monachus, Aquila chrysaetus are year-round residents with nomadic movements outside of breeding period. Besides that, two species Hieraeetus fasciatus and Falco biarmicus are occasional breeders. Milvus milvus, Haliaeetus leucoryphusFalco eleonorae are vagrant.
Complex study of Birds of Prey in Georgia started in 1973. Seasonal migration of Birds of Prey in Georgia was monitored regularly during spring and autumn passages. Observations and counts took place during 52-64 working days every year (8-14 hr every day). Results of counts for the each years are presented. The data on species composition, numbers, directions of movements, patterns of the diurnal activity of different species, height of flight, location of halting places, etc., as well as the importance of all main inland migratory routes for raptors are discussed. The ringing data is analysed. A review of the bibliography, relating to the raptors migrations across Georgia and adjacent areas is given, together with data on threats, reasons and level of mortality and problems of conservation. The practices of hawks  trapping for falconry and illegal shooting of migratory raptors present major raptors conservation problems in Georgia.
Created by Pronetix 2006