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A critically endangered species equipped with a satellite transmitter sends priceless data

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07.05.2024
Yesterday, Green Balkans experts paid a "visit" to a special bird - a Ruddy shelduck, which was equipped with a satellite transmitter at the end of March. The Ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) is a critically endangered species in Bulgaria that is rarely found in our country, mainly in North-Eastern Bulgaria and around Burgas. The bird is male, it underwent successful treatment at the Rescue Center of Green Balkans in Stara Zagora and was subsequently released in the Atanasovsko Lake area, Burgas, and our team informed you about it.

The Ruddy shelduck is a bird of the family Anatidae with beautiful rusty plumage. It is a migratory species that winters in the Eastern Mediterranean and along the Nile River. Nests underground in holes of foxes or badgers, and sometimes coexists with them. This interesting behavior sounds crazy at first glance, yes. But it is actually a very good example of mutualism, a phenomenon in which two organisms of different species provide each other with resources or services. In this particular case, the shelduck provides surveillance and security of the territory, and the fox/badger chases away the intruder.

Thanks to the data that the bird sends through the transmitter, we were able to find the place where it settled - a micro-dam in the Yambol region. There, among many other species, our rusty cutie coexists with other members of its species. It is thanks to the data from the transmitter that we also manage to learn that the bird has traveled more than 160 km in one day! And from the attached map you can see the places it visited. I mean, birds are amazing creatures!

The area the bird has chosen as its home for now, offers relatively high biodiversity and resources and wonderful habitats for waterfowl. Among the more interesting species we also recorded there are Shelduck, Mute swan, Whiskered terns, Coots, Gadwall, Black-winged stilts, Ruff, White-tailed eagles, Red-footed falcons, Eurasian hobby and others.

We still have no data on whether the bird has formed a pair, we hope it will pass this challenge also successfully. We do not know how long he will stay in Yambol region. But we'll keep watching it to learn new interesting facts about the bird's challenging and adventurous life. And of course we will keep you informed.

For contact:
Dimitar Popov - dpopov@greenbalkans.org