The website of the Middle East Falcon Research Group


CalendarMongolian Artificial Nest Project 2014 Calendar

Many thanks to students from the School Links Programme for all their unique art work.

Contact Nicola Dixon to join the Programme in September 2014.

NEWS : 1st October : Research on Migratory Peregrines

One of our satellite tagged Peregrine Falcons has been spotted on migration in Landsort, Sweden. As part of the five year study, the fledgling was fitted with a 12g satellite transmitter during 2012 fieldwork in the Ponoi Depression, Kola Peninsula, Russian Lapland. Thank you Ulla Falkdalen for sending us the following photograph.


NEWS : 18th September : Artificial Nest Project Mongolia

In 2012, the second year of the "5000 Artificial Nests Project”, we recorded 347 Saker Falcon nests, with a further 33 nests in our pre-existing experimental areas of 250 artificial nests. In total we monitored the breeding success of 380 pairs of Sakers occupying our artificial nests. However, this is a minimum estimate because nests that had failed prior to our first monitoring visit (between 1st and 15th May) are not counted; the calculated average laying date was 5th April.

We estimate that the 380 pairs fledged 1,298 chicks (range 1,246 to 1,319). We implanted 1,315 chicks with microchips in 348 broods during this monitoring process.


NEWS : 6th February 2012 : School Links Programme

Many thanks to who donated their Christmas party raffle money of GB£293 to the Artificial Nest Project School Links Programme. This money will be given to the school in Bayan district, which is participating in our pilot project for the School Links Programme. This project aims to link schools in Mongolia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom using the Artificial Nest Project as a means of introduction and as a focal point for lessons on conservation, falconry and cultural heritage. This generous donation will be incorporated into a fund for the installation of internet access at the school in Bayan.

NEWS : 18th January 2011

A new project to sequence the genome of Peregrine and Saker Falcons has begun. For more information please read the newspaper articles in Arabic and English.

NEWS : 3rd December 2010

The last of the 5000 artificial nests were erected in Mongolia on the 12th September 2010. A meeting was held in Ulaanbaatar, on the 9th November, to discuss nest monitoring with district leaders. It was decided that during the next 5 years a ranger from each district will join our research teams each time they visit a nest and learn how to monitor nest success and how to identify species of raptors.
N.Batsuuri, State Secretary for MNET, opened the meeting that was attended by 60 community leaders and interested parties. P.Tsogtsaikhan, Senior Officer, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, MNET, gave a presentation on the Mongolian Saker Falcon trade and CITES. The next soum leaders meeting is planned for November 2012.

NEWS : 31st August 2010P.

Work has come to an end in our small workshop in Bayan, Mongolia. Five local men have spend the last ten months welding and cutting metal to make 5000 artificial nests. The erection teams have been working since April 2010, all nests are expected to be up by the end of September 2010.

NEWS : 30th June 2010

Artificial Nest Project Mongolia


During a recent visit to Mongolia, Dr Nick Fox (IWC) met with Minister Gansukh, Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism (MNET) in Ulaanbaatar. The meeting focused on saker falcon research, using microchip technology to track exported CITES regulated saker falcons, monitoring the breeding success of saker falcons at the new 5000 artificial nests and using the artificial nest population data to set quotas for the annual trade in saker falcons.

Minister Gansukh travelled to Bayan to look at an artificial nest that was erected in 2008, this year it has been fitted with a nest camera which records continuously with the aim of establishing how many Brandt’s Voles and Mongolia Gerbils are eaten by saker falcons and their young.
The June visit was planned to coincide with presentations given by WSCC research biologists, Nyambayar Batbayar and Gankhuyag Purev-Ochir, on the research findings that led to the implementation of the artificial nest project. Delegates from the 6th International Symposium of theAsian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, ARRCN, visited Bayan workshop to meet the people working on the project.
Download: Press release

NEWS : 12th May 2010

Artificial Nest Project Mongolia

Erection work has re-started with 1000 nests now erected. The teams have travelled nearly 3000km through mud and floodwaters to erect nests in Bayansaggan, Bayanjargalon & Bayan-Onjuul soums. Nest box construction has increased, 3000 nests are ready for collection at our Bayan workshop

Saker Falcons have occupied 20 of the 346 nests that were erected in autumn 2009, an uptake of 5.8% which is above our predicted target of 5%.

NEWS : 5th April 2010

Calidus Peregrine ProjectThe first of our satellite tagged Peregrines has started its spring migration. The bird wintered at Kish Island in the Arabian Gulf and is now heading back north.

NEWS : 2nd April 2010
Artificial Nest Project Mongolia

Due to the extreme weather in central Mongolia, erection of the nests has been delayed until the middle of April. The workers in our Bayan workshop have continued to work throughout the winter, despite the extreme cold, to produce two thousand nests ready for erection.

NEWS : 26th March 2010
CITES 15th Conference of the Parties, Qatar 13-25th March 2010

IWC recently attended the CITES conference in Doha to highlight and explain the Artificial Nest Project in Mongolia. Many delegates visited the booth to discuss the project and the expected outcomes. A short film was screened showing the progress of the project so far.
Click here to VIew the short film.

Interested delegates attended a side event presented by Dr Andrew Dixon. Delegate and NGO feedback was positive.
Please click here to view presentation.

NEWS : 15th February 2010
Reintroduction of the Saker Falcon in Bulgaria

A feasibility study has been completed, which has concluded that reintroduction is a suitable management option for restoring the Saker Falcon as a breeding species in Bulgaria and that the Central Balkans is the optimal place to initiate releases. A copy of the feasibility study can be found on this website.

The project is now at a consultation phase and there are discussions with various stakeholders in Bulgaria as to the necessity, merits and logistics of the proposed reintroduction. An interview with Dimitar Ragyov, the project co-ordinator in Bulgaria can be found at the following link:

NEWS : 12th January 2010
Soum Leaders Meeting Held in Ulaanbaatar for Artificial Nest Project

A meeting was held in Mongolia's capital on the 8th January to discuss the artificial nest project with soum (district) leaders and local government officials. The aim of the meeting was to explain the project in detail and decide the exact locations of the 5000 nests, taking into consideration rodent population densities and planned pasture management. The meeting was well attended, all soum leaders embraced the project with enthusiasm.


IWC have played an active role in bringing countries together in conserving migratory raptors. Through a joint initiative co-lead by the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates governments, measures to protect over 70 species of migratory birds of prey and owls were agreed in Abu Dhabi on the 22nd October 2008 at the Convention on Migratory Species.

A copy of the Birdlife International press release is available in pdf format here.

The full press releases can be found here: