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Conservationists bid to give ospreys Welsh home.

A BID to lure the osprey back to Wales has been launched at a new nesting site.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales hopes to create the perfect breeding ground for one of Britain's rarest birds of prey by next spring.

A nesting platform is being erected in Ceredigion's Teifi Marshes reserve with a 50ft tall telegraph pole already secured as part of the man-made nest.

Nathan Walton, the trust's officer for Pembrokeshire, said the next stage of the project is to design the nest and find the best place to attract ospreys.

"This reserve could be a good site because they can feed from the nearby River Teifi and the Teifi estuary," said Mr Walton. "But we have to find the right location to ensure the platform is secure and the ospreys have a vantage point.

"Nests are placed on platforms so that ospreys can avoid predators "Our main concerns are that the reserve is surrounded by human activity such as main roads and finding an inaccessible area that will deter egg thieves."

The osprey was once common in Europe, but heavy persecution, mainly by Victorian egg and skin collectors, during the 19th and early 20th century brought about the bird's extinction in Britain.

Since the late 1950s a breeding programme at the RSPB's Abernethy Forest reserve in Scotland has seen numbers thriving.

Now it is hoped Wales could also become a breeding ground for the fish-eating bird of prey.

Mr Walton added: "Once the nesting platform is set up we might have to wait a couple of years before any ospreys arrive here. But as soon as any ospreys arrive we would look to install remote cameras viewing the platform linked to television monitors in the wildlife centre."

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The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is hoping to create the perfect breeding ground for ospreys in Ceredigion
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 5, 2010
Words:314
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