Soaring With a Unique Point of View
I just found a couple of great videos filmed by miniature cameras strapped on birds of preys (thank you Reddit!), and while the videos are very cool to watch (the second one is posted below), they reminded me that while not all birds of prey are officially endangered, they face big challenges, like other top predators in the sea and on the ground.
As predators at the tops of food webs, birds of prey (raptors) are influenced by many factors and processes within nature. Like the caged canary used by miners to detect poisonous gases, birds of prey have proven sensitive to many forms of environmental change, including chemical pollution, and can provide an early warning for humans. This makes them excellent subjects to study for understanding ecological processes and environmental health.
Eagles and other large raptors typically require large natural areas for survival. Measures that conserve birds of prey frequently provide an umbrella of protection for entire ecological communities.
Increasingly, evidence suggests especially large predators, such as forest eagles, help maintain the balance of nature.
Indeed, being at the top of the food chain means that pesticides and other toxins tend to find their way all the way up to birds of prey. They are also vulnerable to lead poisoning (including from lead shot and fishing sinkers), electrocution from power lines (being bigger than most birds, they can more easily bridge the gap between conducting elements).
Some of the organizations working on bird of prey conservation are: The Betton birds of prey & conservation Centre, the Dullstroom Bird Of Prey and Rehabilitation Centre, the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre, the Falconry Centre, and of course the Peregrine Fund.
Via Youtube [1, 2], Reddit
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