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Good and Bad News

Miroslav Bobek  Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Places near Stará Zagora, where the Hungarian female stork Margit is found. - Autor:Ivailo Kilsurov
Places near Stará Zagora, where the Hungarian female stork Margit is found.
Autor:   Ivailo Kilsurov  

Thirteen storks are in Africa - except for one, they are within the wintering grounds - and the number thirteen seems to foreshadow that apart from the good news there are also bad news. I used to list those storks, I was worried about more or less, but fortunately it usually happened that, sometimes the next they they would cover hundreds of kilometres. This time I am however going to mention two names at which our worries are strongly well-founded. They are concerned with the storks named Koppány and Claude. 

I have already written about Koppány. His transmitter stopped responding in the end of September on the Asian side of the Marmar Sea. Was it just the transmitter which failed or has Koppány died? We do not know, but we already have negative experience from Turkey. One of the white storks which we tracked a couple of years ago died there because of high voltage line. We went there to check what happened and found remains of many other storks. The details are in the press report from that time and the photographs in the protocol at the African Odyssey web pages. Obviously there is no direct evidence suggesting the same thing happened to Koppány but it could be a certain circumstantial evidence.

Luboš Peške has come up with a sad news this weekend. He went through the transmitter data in detail and came to conclusion that the Czech-French stork Claude died or was killed in the south of Spain. We also have sad experience from Southern Spain from the past. We once transported there a young male stork Jonáš by airplane, which previously poisoned himself in Bohemia and was unable to set fort on his own. Thanks to Alejander Torés and Cristina Parkéz it was possible to successfully release Jonáš in the area of Doňana. When we later on returned there together with a German crew to shoot videos , he was shot by some local poacher... More to be found in the article Everything was in vain.

Now finally a good news. I said I was worried about Margit, which is found since 17th September near Stará Zagora in Bulgaria. During the weekend Bulgarian environmentalists went to see her. There is a report by Ivail Kilsurov:

"We found margit!, She is all right in the company of herons near small fish-ponds between the villages Opan, Kravino and Venetz. On Monday or Tuesday, we are going to talk to the local authorities to make sure no hunters or anyone else hurts Margit. It is not impossible that Margit might stay here during the winter. We shall see."

It is by the way very interesting opinion about the winterizing. I do not know, it may be possible. However it is almost certain that three storks which are now in Doňana, might easily winterize there (I think that hundreds of black storks will winterize there). Here, our autumn migration watching might come to an end...


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