Great Bustard chicks rescued in Iran

Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Ahmad Barati, our Iranian correspondent, of the Iranian Bokan Environmental Office contacted the Great Bustard Group to let us know about a Great Bustard nest discovered by a local farmer in North West Iran.

In the course of harvesting the nest was inadvertently damaged, but its occupants; two Great Bustard chicks were successfully rescued.

The chicks are reported to be approximately two weeks old but appear to be well.

Caring for the birds

The Great Bustard Group is now advising regarding the birds care, which can be difficult, as birds are particularly vulnerable to stress.

The young birds may need to be given water via pipette initially to ensure they don’t succumb to dehydration. As a stop-gap solution, they can be fed cat food – high in energy and protein – but longer term they need foods more closely matching what would be available in their natural habitat. Great Bustards are opportunists, as large flying birds they require a lot of energy and so in the wild will eat a variety of foods.

The Great Bustard chicks will be fed meat, boiled eggs and chopped vegetation as well as insects and later, mice.

Sekanian Plain

The chicks were found on Sekanian plain, (a hunting prohibited area) and is one of five important habitats for the remaining population of Great Bustards in Northwest Iran. Located 24km North of Boukan (360 39 ‘ -36 045 ‘ N and 46012 ‘ -46 017′ E) and between the villages of Qormish and Sekanian.

The landscape is flat and covering about 35 km2 with means altitude 1430 m asl. The main crops are wheat, barley, chick pea plus a few alfalfa.

Great Bustards nest in dry-wheat areas and which can cause problems during harvesting activities. Most harvesting is done by combine harvesters which disturb the birds.

Alex Stott

Posted by Alex Stott

Alex runs the Great Bustard Group website and online shop.

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