Over the last twenty to thirty years the Lugger Falcon ( Falco Jugger), also known as the Laggar Falcon, has undergone a very serious population decline in the wild across its entire range. This is due to various reasons such as the expansion of human population, persecution through ignorance, illegal trapping and use in falconry, illegal trapping and subsequently being used as "Lure birds" to catch larger more powerful falcons. Also the serious decline of certain key food species (Spiny Tailed Lizard) have had a dramatic effect on breeding success in the wild.
At the time of writing ( 2018 ), population figures are far from accurate and have been placed somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 pairs. The consensus by leading conservation bodies across the world leans towards the lower figure. Even if we take the average between the two figures and work on their being in the region of 15,000 wild pairs, that is a significant drop from the figure for fifty years ago that was supposedly more than 100,000 pairs of Luggers in the world across their range.
Why is nothing already being done? Should there have been an 85% decline in more iconic species such as the Saker Falcon (falco cherrug), Peregrine Falcon (falco peregrinus) or European Kestrel (falco tinnunculus) the response would have been immediate. Indeed this was the response when there was a marked and noted decline of the latter two examples.
One of the main issues with the Lugger Falcon is the countries that it inhabits are going through serious humanitarian issues because of conflict, food shortage or political differences. As a result the plight of a species of falcon is not, understandably, a high priority during Government decision making processes.
The other issue is with the Falcon itself. It shares its habitat with far more "promotable" species that are in decline; Snow Leopards, Tigers, Asiatic Lions and Himalayan Bears. All of which are easier to heart-warming type photographs of and therefore easier in many ways to raise funds for. While the larger conservation bodies undoubtedly do very good work, and the Lugger Falcon WILL in some ways benefit from their habitat conservation programs aimed primarily at other species as well as the various international education programmes, there were still no projects directly supporting this magnificent Falcon.