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Nature Documentary ‘Lesser Spotted Eagles in Latvia’ Has Been Filmed

The Latvian Fund for Nature and the Art Foundation RUCKA have released a new documentary nature film ‘Lesser Spotted Eagles in Latvia’ that will be available to audiences on May 7 on the streaming site LMT Straume and LMT Smart TV. The director and cinematographer of the film is Māris Maskalāns, and the film tells about a special bird in Latvia – the lesser spotted eagle. Latvia is home to one-fifth of the world's lesser spotted eagle population; thus, we are a very important country in preserving the lesser spotted eagle as a species on a global scale. The film was made within the framework of the EU LIFE program project ‘Conservation Arrangements for Lesser Spotted Eagle in Latvia’.

Screenshot from the film “Lesser spotted eagles in Latvia”

The lesser spotted eagle is a bird of prey that can be seen in the summer in the countryside of Latvia, soaring over the tree-tops and meadows or sitting on a haystack, scouting for the prey. At present, one-fifth of the world’s and almost half of the European Union's lesser spotted eagle population lives in Latvia, while elsewhere in Europe this bird has almost become extinct due to intensive agriculture and forestry.

The film tells about the life of lesser spotted eagles, showing the life cycle of the bird, but it is also a story about natural processes in a broader sense. The habitats necessary for a sustainable existence of lesser spotted eagles – old forests with large trees, meadows and pastures – are home to a great diversity of nature; therefore, by restoring habitats suitable for lesser spotted eagles, the diversity of the ecosystem as a whole is preserved. The film shows the processes of habitat restoration in Kuja Nature Park and Grivu Island in Lubana, highlights the lesser spotted eagle-friendly farming opportunities. For several seasons, the authors of the film followed the work of the project manager and ornithologist Jānis Ķuze inspecting the nests of lesser spotted eagles and working to ensure their protection.

Jānis Ķuze, who is also the leader of the project ‘Conservation Arrangements for Lesser Spotted Eagle in Latvia’, points out, ‘The lesser spotted eagle in Latvia is feeling good at the moment, but it is important to prevent its population from declining. A healthy population of lesser spotted eagles also means old, diverse forests and flowering meadows – a landscape where other species and humans feel good too.’

The director of the film Māris Maskalāns points out, ‘A lot is being done in Latvia to make the lesser spotted eagles feel good here. I am glad that we have so many of these birds, and I am proud of our lesser spotted eagle researchers Uģis Bergmanis and Jānis Ķuze – they are world-class ornithologists, from whom many generations of nature lovers learn and will learn.’

The film will be available on LMT Straume, as well as on LMT Smart TV.