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In Iran First, Golden Eagles Born in Captivity

The chicks will experience as little of the captive life as possible to be able to survive in the wild
The two chicks were born last week in Karaj.The two chicks were born last week in Karaj.
The purpose of the captive breeding of eagles is to learn to replicate this with other predatory birds

For the first time in Iran, two Golden Eagle chicks were born in captivity in Alborz Province, the director of Wildlife Conservation Center at Chamran Park in Karaj said.

“One hatched on Wednesday (April 26) and the other a day later,” Shirdel Nouri also told ISNA.

Nouri said a lot of effort had been put into ensuring the eagles had everything they needed to mate.

“We spent years preparing the right environment for them; we had to keep them calm and worry-free, provide them with nutrient-rich foods and set up a nest for the female to lay eggs,” Nouri said, adding that the male is five years old and the female is seven.

He said it soon became apparent they had problem hatching, so the eggs were moved to an incubator.

“Everything went well,” Nouri said. “It only took two months for the eggs to hatch.”

The average natural incubation period is between 41 and 45 days.

To prepare the chicks for life in the wild, experts at the facility want to make sure they experience as little of the captive life as possible.

“At present, we’re feeding them, but to create an authentic experience we’ve placed a taxidermy eagle where the chicks are kept and they’re fed while being held beside the eagle,” Nouri said.

The goal is to release them into the wild once they’re old enough.

“The purpose of the captive breeding of eagles is to learn to replicate this with other predatory birds,” Saeed Rahnavardan, an environmental activist that monitors the chicks, said.

The Golden Eagle is one of the most widely distributed birds on the planet and its habitats span all across the northern hemisphere.

With an average lifespan of 30 years, the eagles soar the skies of open country, particularly around mountains, hills and cliffs. The resilient birds survive in a variety of habitats ranging from arctic to desert.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, despite being able to kill large prey such as cranes and domestic livestock, the Golden Eagle feeds primarily on rabbits, hares, ground squirrels and prairie dogs.

Golden Eagles possess astonishing speed and maneuverability for their size (70-84 cm in length and a wingspan of 185-220 cm). Diving from great heights, they have been clocked at close to 322 km per hour.

 

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