Litvínov, 12 June 2018 – The Unipetrol Group have recorded something unique in the country. Two pairs of peregrine falcons have nestled on the chimneys in its production plant in Zaluzi u Litvinova, bringing as many as five nestlings into the world. The peregrine falcon nesting project is running in cooperation with the Alka Wildlife association. Since 2011, a total of 23 young falcons have been hatched in Litvinov.
When the birds were ringed, firefighters accompanied an ornithologist, climbing to a height of 100 m, to where the falcon families are nesting. The first couple, with two youngsters and a female originally born in Dresden, Germany, were nestled on the heating plant’s chimneys. The other pair, who are raising three youngsters, had settled down on the chimney of the steam cracker. "This is really unique," Václav Beran, an ornithologist from the ALKA Wildlife Association, said. "There has been no such situation in any industrial site in the Czech Republic where two pairs have nested together. Falcons are territorial predators – they usually defend their territory. However, Litvinov's production complex is large enough for two pairs to live in," he added.
At the time of the ringing, the young were ten days old. "A total of three females and two males hatched. And of course they didn’t like the ringing. However, it was not too big a problem, as the youngsters were an ideal age. It’s quite simple to ring nestlings at such an age; you can grasp and handle them easily. The procedure is over in no time," Beran said, adding that the older ones usually make the process a little more dramatic. The stronger they are, the more they try to defend themselves. They’re not afraid event to cut or nip the ornithologist with their claws and beaks.
The ornithologists can now monitor the development of the young falcons thanks to the photo traps that were installed in each nest during the ringing process. Within a few days, the youngsters will start to fly out of the nest and they will leave their native chimney after roughly a month.
Falcons also regularly nest on the chimney of the Neratovice-based Spolana, which is also part of the Unipetrol Group. "Across the Unipetrol Group, we strive to minimise the environmental impacts of our production while being proactive in terms of environmental protection. We spend around CZK 1 billion on modernising our production facilities and providing environmental protection activities. Falcon nesting and regular fish planting into the Elbe and Bílina rivers are a small, yet quite visible, part of our activities," Pavel Sláma, Director of Unipetrol’s EKO Unit, said.
The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a cosmopolitan Falconidae predator. The females are up to one third larger than the males. They have long pointed wings and a short tail. The most striking thing about the falcon’s colour is its characteristic dark “beard” on a white face. The wingspan of peregrine falcon is 85–115 cm, with a body length of 35–50 cm. Males weigh 500–750 g, females 910–1500 g. Their prey consists mainly of birds up to the size of ducks, which they kill by a sharp strike during their attack in flight.
The Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses primarily on crude oil processing, distribution and sale of fuel and petrochemical products — particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these fields, the group is a key player on both the Czech and Central European market. The Unipetrol Group includes refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo with the Mogul brand in Pardubice and Kolín, Spolana in Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. Unipetrol also owns the Benzina network of petrol stations with 402 stations, which is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. Unipetrol is one of the largest companies in the Czech Republic in terms of turnover. The group created revenue of over CZK 122 billion last year and employs more than 4600 people. In 2005, Unipetrol became part of the PKN Orlen Group, the largest crude oil processor in Central Europe.
Pavel Kaidl, Press Officer, telephone no.: +420 225 001 407, +420 736 502 520, e-mail: email@example.com