In the night between Tuesday and Wednesday 11-12th May 2021, we received great news from colleagues who were the field on the Durmitor mountain: with the help of nets, a male capercaillies (Tetrao urogallus) was captured and marked with a GPS / GSM satellite transmitter! It is the first capercaillies to be captured and marked with a satellite transmitter for scientific purposes on the territory of Montenegro, which is only the second example in the region, after Slovenia.
This, otherwise extremely complex process, prepared and implemented by ornithologists from the Center for Protection and Research of Birds, is just one of many activities which are being implemented in the framework of the project “Bear in Mind: Bringing environmental actions for biodiversity protection across the borders”, which is financially supported by the European Union and the Ministry of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media in Montenegro, within the Cross-border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020.
In this way, using GPS / GSM satellite telemetry, we will study the movement patterns of this legally protected species in Montenegro, in order to get a more detailed insight into its behavior and habitat selection in the spatial range in which it is captured, without disturbing birds or leaving fragrant traces which can attract predators. This, as well as other data that can be obtained by telemetry tracking (GPS position, altitude, speed, direction, light, temperature, air pressure, etc.) will be the basis for developing a Management Plan for this species for the area in which it is captured, which will be a very important step in improving its protection and management, as well as the protection of the habitat it uses. For the same purpose, it is planned to capture and label another individual of capercaillies and two individuals of rock partridge (Alectoris graeca), which would be a significant contribution to the promotion of telemetry as a reliable scientific methodology to protect biodiversity, especially ornithofauna, in Montenegro.
After being equipped with a transmitter, whose size and weight (50 g) was adapted to this species in order to minimize the impact on its further life, the black grouse was named Nugota, after the location where it was caught – the village of Dobri Nugo, and released to continue with its adventures in the forests of Durmitor.