The X Congress of the White Stork Research Group

From February 4th to 5th, 2023, the 10th Congress of the White Stork Research Group (GBBB) took place. GBBB is an organization that brings together stork researchers from all over Poland, including both professionals and amateurs. It also collaborates with neighboring countries such as Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany. The group was established in 2012 during its founding meeting in the Institute of Zoology at the University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Poznań (UPP). This year's Congress was held in Tomaszów Bolesławiecki, Lower Dolnośląskie Voivodeship, at an agrotourism farm called "Klekusiowo," which also hosts the Rehabilitation Center for Wild Animals of St. Francis of Assisi. This center primarily treats white storks. The farm includes a white stork nest, and its activities can be monitored in real time through an online stream.

During the Congress, Kazimierz Walasz, representing the Małopolska Ornithological Society (MTO), delivered two presentations. The first presentation summarized the results of ringing white storks as part of the Program for understanding and protecting the White Stork in Poland carried out by MTO in collaboration with all energy companies, i.e. Enea Operator, Energa Operator, Tauron Dystrybucja, and PGE Dystrybucja. In 2022, 23 teams ringed a total of 2,609 white storks in 997 nests across Poland. Since 2019, a total of 4,593 white storks have been ringed in 1,847 nests. Additionally, 15 transmitters were attached to storks to track their migrations. The program also involved cooperation with ornithologists from Slovakia and Ukraine.

The second presentation covered the project of standards for the functioning of white stork rehabilitation centers. Unfortunately, legal regulations concerning procedures for the care of wild birds are currently lacking in Poland. This project was developed in collaboration with specialists from wildlife rehabilitation centers. After consultations with centers from all over Poland, the standards will be proposed by GBBB as mandatory for white stork rehabilitation. A full report from the congress is available on the GBBB's website

Author: Kazimierz Walasz

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