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TIOF awards grant to Belarus team

By TIOF - | Jan 13, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Three osprey chicks in a nest in Belarus.

The International Osprey Foundation’s 2020 grant for $2,034 was awarded to Denis Keitel and his team for their research to identify and secure official protection status for osprey nesting sites in the bogs and river valleys of the northern Belarus forests in eastern Europe. Timely protection is essential to prevent logging in critical breeding areas, TIOF Grants Chair Carol Smith said.

The program aligns with osprey recovery and conservation plans developed by the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife. Key elements of the program include mapping four at-risk areas where osprey populations have been reported, determining population metrics and nest productivity, banding chicks and installing artificial nesting platforms where needed, and securing national protection status involving approval from four government agencies.

The Belarus team reports significant progress with 50 percent of the target areas mapped, 28 nests identified, 26 chicks banded and 22 artificial platforms built. Most importantly, two key areas are well into the national protection approval process.

Integral to TIOF’s mission to preserve, research and educate is the awarding of grants targeted for the welfare of ospreys in their global ecosystem. Over the past 30 years, grants have been directed to geographically and functionally diverse programs including nest fidelity and density impact on breeding productivity, pesticide exposure on reproduction, medical treatment of injured raptors, avian protection programs in partnership with utility companies, foraging ecology, raptor coastal migration and population surveys, and genetic analysis.

“TIOF will continue to follow the program’s progress and sincerely thanks current and past members for their membership donations making grants such as this possible,” President Susan Tucker said. “These grants show that TIOF is truly international in scope.”

For more about the Sanibel-based TIOF or ospreys, visit www.Ospreys.com.

To volunteer as a nest watcher or report a nest needing maintenance, email tiof@outlook.com.