Third International Scientific and Practical Conference “Eagles of the Palearctic: Study and Conservation”

Raptors Conservation. Suppl. 2. Proceedings of Conferences

On the Fact of Discovery and Seizure of Steppe Eagle Nestlings at Customs in Saratov Region, Russia

Suleymanova G.F. (National Park “Khvalynsky”, Khvalynsk, Russia)

Guzyaliya Suleymanova
Recommended citation: Suleymanova G.F. On the Fact of Discovery and Seizure of Steppe Eagle Nestlings at Customs in Saratov Region, Russia. – Raptors Conservation. 2023. S2: 487–489. DOI: 10.19074/1814-8654-2023-2-487-489 URL:

Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a rare bird inhabiting wide open areas. The species listed in the Red Book of the Saratov region as small-numbered, depressed category with a slow population decline. The species is included in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation (Bragin, Belik, 2021), Appendix 2 of CITES, Appendix 2 of the Berne Convention, Appendix 2 of the Bonn Convention. Currently, Steppe Eagle is encountered in the southeastern part of the Saratov region, in the Saratov Transvolga. Previously, scientists noted that the northwestern border of the species’ range is gradually moving towards Kazakhstan (Galushin, 2001). Three Steppe Eagle nestling were seized at border control in Urban-type settlement Ozinki in the Saratov region, on the Russian border with Kazakhstan. The species of seized nestlings was determined after consultation with the staff of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the RAS (Saratov). Institute staff recommended to transfer nestlings to the Khvalynsky National Park, and border service employees in the Saratov region delivered nestlings there on June 1, 2023. During an external examination, veterinarian determined that nestlings’ appearance was satisfactory, they could not fly, had moderate appetite, were weakened and needed veterinary care. Nestlings’ age estimated at the first month, sexes were not determined.

During June 1–22, 2023, nestlings were fed and rehabilitated under the supervision of employees of the Teremok aviary farm of the Khvalynsky National Park. Fresh beef and water four times a day constituted their diet. Their bodies grew, and nestlings developed contour feathers (Fig. 1).

However, on July 22, 2023, one nestling died and was removed from the enclosure to avoid the spread of infection to living nestlings. After an examination by an ornithologist, it was decided to send the biomaterial of the deceased nestling to the Federal State-Financed Institution “All-Russian Research Institute for Animal Protection” (Saratov branch) to clarify the cause of death. The autopsy report No. Sar23.P-1984 dated 07.07.2023 and bacteriological examination indicate that nestling died from acute heart failure (aerosacculitis, pericarditis) due to colibacillosis. The causative agent of colibacillosis, E. coli, was isolated from the nestling’s body.

The above indicates the vulnerability of Steppe Eagle nestlings at the age of one month. It is necessary to develop standards for keeping these birds in captivity in the future. In nature, particularly strict rules and protective measures should be introduced in pre-nesting and nesting periods of eagles’ development. Employees of ecological education should teach local residents and students about the importance of preserving biodiversity and specifically about Steppe Eagle conservation.

Steppe Eagles (Aquila nipalensis) in the nest: female and nestlings. Photo by I. Karyakin.

Fig. 1. Steppe Eagle nestling (Aquila nipalensis) in Teremok aviary farm of the Khvalynsky National Park. 02.06.2023 – on the left and 10.06.2023 – on the right. Photos by G. Suleymanova.

Литература / References
Брагин Е.А., Белик В.П. Степной орёл Aquila nipalensis (Hodgson, 1833). – Красная книга Российской Федерации, том «Животные». 2-ое издание / Отв. ред. В.В. Рожнов. М.: ФГБУ «ВНИИ Экология», 2021. С. 622–624. [Bragin E.A., Belik V.P. Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis. – Red Data Book of Russia. Vol. Animals. Moscow, 2001: 434–435. (in Russian).]
Галушин В.М. Степной орёл Aquila nipalensis. – Красная книга Российской Федерации. Т. 2. (животные). М., 2001. С. 434–435. [Galushin V.M. Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis. – Red Data Book of Russia. Vol. 2. (Animals). Moscow, 2001: 434–435. (in Russian).]