Meeting in Roquefixade (France), a brief review
After Langeac (2004), Nadaillac (2008), and Florac (2012) the 4th Circaetus meeting took place in Roquefixade (the Ariège Department), on October 8th and 9th, 2016. Forty naturalists involved in the monitoring of the species, found themselves there at the invitation of Nature Midi-Pyrénées and LPO Mission Rapaces, to share their experience of the studies. The total number of the meeting participants was about fifty. The program illustrated the diversity of birders’ approaches within their means and goals.
› In the Alpes de Haute-Provence, the focus is on the protection of sites. Beforehand, it’s a great inventory work that is undertaken throughout the department. The volunteer organization of a network of partners (PNR Verdon, PNR Lubéron, ONF, associations, etc.) and the actualization of geographical data help to anticipate the following work and various actions.
Nationally, the ONF is encouraging naturalists to contact the agencies and reiterates its commitment to protect known Short-toed Eagle sites in managed forests.
› In Haute-Loire, inventory and monitoring of breeding made it possible to study various aspects of the behaviour, among them: the reoccupation of nests, interspecies encounters and performing the festoon flights.
› In Lozère, biometric data collected in the past 20 years enable researchers to compare the wing-length of chicks, and also shows the changes in egg-laying dates, which seems to be delayed even further…
› In Ariège, surveys in the foothills of the Pyrenees shows even distribution among nesting pairs in hilly and forested areas.
› In neighbouring Aude, pairs inventory enables to make a new estimate of this beautiful population: 300/350 pairs.
› In Aveyron, significant increase was found in the number of nesting pairs, based on a small surveyed area; and the first analysis of data from a photo-trap reveals new opportunities for noninvasive studies.
› Around Marseille, several breeding pairs nest on branches of Aleppo pines, in a very windy and rocky landscape, near the large city.
However, the friendly atmosphere did not suffer, despite the seroiusness of these scientific presentations, and the meeting provided, as always, an opportunity for many informal discussions, sharing ideas and hypotheses. The meeting materials will be available early 2017, for all those STE enthusiasts who wanted, but could not get to Roquefixade.