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Our ethos in conservation and welfare

Raptors are fantastic indicator species of a variety of habitats in the UK and further afield – by understanding their lives in the wild we can effectively conserve wider environments for the whole ecosystem, which enables wildlife everywhere to thrive sustainably.

Much of our work involves working with researchers, conservationists, farmers, landowners, ecologists, politicians, researchers, students, schools, communities and individuals – we all have a roll to play in conservation and a way to work together!

We are working hard to bring in bigger, better and improved standards for the welfare of both raptors in captivity in the UK and raptors in wildlife rehabilitation. By developing practices shared at national conferences, events and between other professionals in the UK, we are pushing for positive change everywhere.

Explore Our Projects

Modern Raptor Welfare

Promoting the highest standard of care for birds of prey in both bird of prey centre environments and private ownership, is something that our whole team are hugely passionate about. Over 40% of our avian team have been re-homed from previous care, much of which failing to meet basic welfare standards. 

In the UK there is currently no legislation for keeping birds of prey in captivity, neither is there a modern set of guidelines for welfare. We are working hard to create a welfare system that can be documented and shared for the benefit of birds of prey in ownership across the UK.

We work with our birds using consent based high trust behaviours. This restraint free management is developed around the bird giving consent for actions, and voluntarily participating in training behaviours. 

Our avian care facilities have featured in multiple national publications and are also the location for training we provide to students, veterinary professionals and career starters in aviculture. We’re proud to work with and advise fellow animal care organisations in the South West of England and further afield.

The Nest Box programme

For many resident species of birds of prey in the UK who nest in cavities, declines in mature woodland and green belt have resulted in the loss of breeding space for the species. Nest boxes provide a safe breeding environment and help sustain our resident populations.

We are working with local farmers and landowners to install nest boxes for Barn Owls, Kestrels, Tawny Owls and Little Owls. We are also working with universities to research the effectiveness of nest boxes a method for local raptor conservation. Once installed, boxes are monitored up to four times a year for breeding activity and to keep the boxes safe for use.

The Biomagnification Project

We began working on the Biomagnification Project in 2022, inspired by a concern for the impact of chemical pollution on wider ecosystems, being exposed by modern, international research into wild raptors.

This project focusses on raising awareness for the implications of biomagnification and supporting effective research into local wild bird of prey populations.

Biomagnification or biological magnification is the process of accumulation of certain chemicals in living organisms to a concentration higher than that occurring in the inorganic, non-living environment. Birds of prey, at the top of their respective food chains, are key species when it comes to biomagnification.

Are you a student or researcher planning a project looking at toxins in wildlife? Get in touch with us!

Biodiversity Action Planning

To understand more about our local biodiversity and how we can continue to best enable a healthy ecosystem around us, in 2023 Deputy Centre Manager Alice created a Biodiversity Action plan working to improve habitats around the centre.

In 2024 we are working to implement some of these techniques in tandem with our Nest Box project, looking at correlations between farmland biodiversity, climate and raptor breeding success.

If you have skills in ecology or habitat surveying that you would like to volunteer, or if you’d like to just like to volunteer your time building wildlife habitats here at the centre, contact alice via alice@birdofpreyproject.org.

Our Rehabilitation Hospital

WhatsApp or Phone 07935 744167 for advice if you find an injured bird of prey. We can’t always answer the phone straight away but do leave a message and we can often get back in touch within an hour.

Providing an ethical wildlife rehabilitation programme for wild birds of prey and owls is a crucial part of our work as a charity. Our Rehabilitation Hospital built in 2019 is compromised of a treatment room, injury recovery units and larger aviaries for birds preparing their flight abilities ahead of a release to the wild. We are named members of the British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (BWRC) and our hospital supports both case transfers from other wildlife units in the UK, and training for university and college level students.

We are supported by a specialist avian veterinary team and our facilities and policies are inspected on an annual basis.

Working with Project Lugger

Project Lugger is registered charity dedicated to conserving Lugger Falcons in the wild. Native to India, Pakistan and Myanmar Lugger Falcons are rapidly declining due to various reasons including use of DDT pesticide, habitat loss and decline of their preferred prey item. But the biggest threat to their wild population is a practice called ‘barak’, where Lugger Falcons are trapped and used as live bait for larger falcons which are sold for illegal trade. Over 2,000 Lugger Falcons are killed in this process every year.

Project Lugger is working hard in Pakistan and in Europe to create a more sustainable future for these falcons, by carrying out vital research, educating local communities, working with Pakistani governments and breeding Lugger Falcons in captivity.

Here at the centre, we fly a Lugger Falcon to raise funds and awareness for the Project. Indali may also re-join the European breeding programme in the future, to create vital reserve populations of this species.