Europe and Central Asia

South-Caucasian Steppes

Imperial Eagle © Hugh Jansman

The vast steppes straddling the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan are home to an impressive array of rare and threatened species. Endangered Egyptian Vultures still commonly breed around the monasteries carved into cliff faces many centuries ago. Thousands of Steppe Eagles use the extensively cultivated agricultural fields as a place to rest and feed. In winter, almost the entire Asian population of Little Bustard, numbering hundreds of thousands, comes to winter here.

But the attention of conservationists is focused on one of the most charismatic residents of the area: the Eastern Imperial Eagle. It breeds in the poplar forests lining the rivers that cross the otherwise dry landscape, but it has also successfully colonized abandoned power lines. With riverine forests under high logging pressure, and electricity pylons subject to disturbance, this population has suffered a rapid decline. Our partners SABUKO (Georgia) and AOS (Azerbaijan) have taken action to reverse this decline, by providing artificial nesting platforms, investigating and addressing causes of decline, and advocating protection of riverine forest.

Below, you can watch Georgia: Open Skies, a documentary following SABUKO's (BirdLife in Georgia) quest to recover the Imperial Eagle in Georgia. The documentary was produced by Electron Libre, in collaboration with France Télévisions and TV5 Monde.


Click here to go back to the Caucasus programme page.


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