This month, we are introducing the Hevesi Plain SPA (HUBN10004), a project site of the Bükk National Park Directorate. This region partly belongs to Heves-, and partly to Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county. Its area is 49.000 ha. As a Special Protection Area (SPA), its most important natural asset is its bird fauna, including the roller among many other threatened and rare species.
Our two tagged birds, “Pétör” and “Csele” had crossed the Equator exactly a month ago, and have been flying south ever since, putting more and more miles behind them. Along their journey, they took a lengthy rest within the savannah belt of the northern hemisphere, but by now they have reached the savannahs of South Africa, just above the Kalahari.
It’s been exactly 3 weeks since „Csele”, the satellite tagged roller from Kiskunhalas (Hungary) arrived at the Republic of Congo crossing the Equator and the rainforests. She arrived just in time for the rainy season and was welcomed by the wast savannas of the southern hemisphere. The migration strategy of our bird changed immediately as soon as she reached suitable feeding habitat. The non-stop long distance flight, covering thousands of kilometres above the rainforests gave place to a calm, steady movement interspersed with breaks to feed and rest. Over the last 3 weeks „Csele” has taken in another 1200 km, moving slowly southwards, reaching the catchment of the Zambezi river in Zambia.
For the first time in history we know exactly what route the rollers take to migrate to Africa from the Carpathian Basin. We’ve already suspected that rollers spend the winter south of the Sahara desert, possibly even south of the Equator, but the exact location of the wintering grounds, the routes, and the migration strategy were all unknown until now. Thanks to the advance of satellite tracking technology, and the work of the LIFE+ funded Consortium, we are now able to map the movements of two satellite tagged rollers.
The annual Roller Conservation Workshop, organised by the Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia and the “Riparia” Association of Naturalists of Subotica, was held between 17-18 October 2015. The workshop brings together over 30 conservationists involved in roller conservation work from all over Serbia to share the regional results of breeding success, and gives an opportunity to discuss the latest research. The ROLLERPOJECT team was also invited, so we took this opportunity to share our first results on the movements of our satellite tagged rollers.
Kesznyéten is one of the project sites of the roller conservation project within the territory of the Bükk National Park Directorate. The Landscape Protection Area became protected in 1990, and during the designation of the Natura 2000 network, it also became a Special Protection Area ( Kesznyéten SPA, code HUBN1005).