Rare and Endangered Birds Are Bred in Almaty Nursery

falconsALMATY – The Sunkar nursery in Almaty, that has bred more than 1,000 birds, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.

This falcon house breeds rare and endangered birds and keeps more than 400 rare and endangered birds of prey species of Kazakhstan, most of which are falcons and eagles. These include saker falcons, peregrine falcons, barbary falcons, northern falcons, steppe kestrels, steppe eagles, imperial eagles, as well as 20 of the biggest species of gold eagles along with vultures, long-legged buzzards, hawks, kites, white-tailed eagles and eagle owls.

Of the more than 1,000 birds the centre has bred, 632 of them have been released into the wild and the genealogy of each pair of birds is carefully traced. About 150-170 chicks of these birds of prey are hatched annually, and, through selection, they have bred birds of a size and with plumage that is not found in nature.

The falcons bred at Sunkar get high marks by experts at international exhibitions, and the centre itself is entered in the third edition of the Red Book of Kazakhstan as the country’s only nursery raising saker falcons and releasing them into the wild.

The centre also cares for birds that have been hit by a car, injured by poachers or animals as well as those that have been discarded by their owners. Once those birds are nursed back to health, they are released into the wild.

Feeding the centre’s birds requires 120,000 day-old chickens per month. The birds also eat rats so the nursery operates a vivarium that keeps 10,000 of these rodents.

Over the last 25 years, the centre has also revived the pure bred Kazakh hound, tazy, and breeds wolves. The wolves are often used in movies.

According to well-known Kazakh ornithologist Nikolai Berezovikov, the population of Kazakhstan’s largest eagles continues to decline as a result of a shortage of food, displacement to the highlands as a result of human activity, anxiety during the nesting period, fires and high voltage lines. Experts have come to the conclusion that unless proper measures are taken, the eagle population will dwindle to a critical mark in Kazakhstan.

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