Project Lugger was set up by three UK falconers in an attempt to halt the rapid decline of the Lugger Falcon (Falco jugger) across the entire range of its natural habitats.
The Raptor Centre is lucky to have a breeding pair of Lugger Falcons, last year (2018) we gifted 2 baby Lugger Falcons to Project Lugger. While they are young birds, they will be worked in front of the public to highlight the plight of these stunning Falcons, however, their long term future will be focused on breeding, and who knows, maybe in a number of years their youngsters may live their lives as wild birds...
The Raptor Centre is thrilled to be supporting this incredible project. To find out more, please visit the Project Lugger website - link above.
Reasons for Establishing the Project
Over the last twenty to thirty years the Lugger Falcon (Falco jugger), has undergone a very serious population decline in the wild across its entire range. This is due to various reasons such as the expanse of human population, persecution through ignorance, illegal trapping and use in falconry, illegal trapping and subsequently being used as 'Lure birds' to catch larger more powerful falcons. Every successful falcon trapped by a trapper using a Lugger Falcon as a bait bird, inevitably results in the death of the Lugger falcon.
At the time of writing (2017), population figures are far from accurate and have been placed somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 individual birds. The general consensus of conservation bodies across the world leans towards the 10,000 birds figure.
Fifty years ago, it was estimated that there was in excess of 100,000 wild pairs of Lugger Falcons across their range. As you can see, this is a terrifying drop in numbers.
Over time the aim of the project is to provide areas identified as 'danger zones' for the wild Lugger populations, with unrelated pairs of captive bred Lugger Falcons through the breeding project in the UK.
For an update on Project Lugger, written by Bob Dalton,
one of the founders, please click on the Word Document link.