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    STUDIES --- PhD Thesis --- DNA study  
 

PhD Thesis

SESN supports part of Nedko Nedialkov’s PhD thesis Diet of Breeding Saker Falcons Falco cherrug in Relation to Prey Availability. Nedko works by National Natural History Museum – Bulgaria and his mentor is Dr. Zlatozar Boev – famous Bulgarian paleo-ornithologist. The PhD thesis include itself several separate studies:

• Geographical variation in the diet of Saker Falcons Falco cherrug (an analysis made with data from Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Ukraine and Moldova);
• Breeding success and diet of Saker Falcons Falco cherrug in two areas of central Mongolia with different rodent densities;
• Diet of breeding Saker Falcons Falco cherrug in relation to the local availability of prey;
• Comparison of the breeding season diet of Saker Falcons Falco cherrug in relation to prey availability at natural and artificial nest sites in Central Mongolia.

Preliminary results of the Saker Falcon diet in Southeast European breeding range show that the small mammals predominate in its diet.

   
 

Preliminary results of the analysis of Saker Falcon pellets (n=56) from Crimea Peninsula, Ukraine (Nedyalkov in litt.)

Taxa

Number of items

Spermophilus pygmaeus

8

Ellobius talpinus

8

Microtus sp.

13

Rodentia

20

Mammaliа unid.

6

Aves

11

Coleptera

4

Total

70

 

Preliminary results of the analysis of Saker Falcon pellets (n=40) and prey remains from Central Anatolia, Turkey (Nedyalkov in litt.)

Taxa

Number of items

Spermophilus xanthoprymnus

35

Meriones sp.

1

Rodentia

1

Mammalia unid.

4

Columba livia

1

Garrulus glandarius

1

Sturnus vulgaris

1

Oenanthe sp.

1

Aves unid.

11

Total

56

 

DNA study

SESN assists IWC in a new two years project initiated by Prof. Michael Bruford and Dr. Xianjiang Zhan of the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University. The project aims, using molecular techniques, to study genetic sub-structuring in Saker Falcon. Prof. Bruford and Dr. Xianjiang use Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) to investigate geographical genetic variation in Sakers across their Eurasian breeding range. SESN researchers provided the DNA laboratory with feather and/or blood samples from Southeast European countries i.e. Bulgaria (museum specimens), Turkey, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine and Romania.
The study of IWC and Cardiff University will inform the future reintroduction progarmme in Bulgaria about:

• existence of major differences between local Saker populations;
• genetically compatibility of release stock with historical population and/or adjacent modern populations.

 
Frequencies of group A (black) and B (white) haploid genotypes
in Saker Falcon populations (Nittinger et al., 2007)
 
SESN is coordinated by:
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Sofia 1113, Yurii Gagarin str. 2
www.ecolab.bas.bg; gsm +359 898 58 55 53; Fax +359 2 870 54 98; e-mail: dimitar.ragyov@gmail.com