We constantly monitor the birdlife at various points in Spain. Our activities include censuses and ringing campaigns, which enable us to obtain information about migratory phenology, abundance, biometrics, physical status and places of provenance and destination of migratory birds.
In Castilla y León, we organize ringing campaigns every summer. Special attention is given to the aquatic warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola), a globally threatened bird whose breeding areas are located exclusively in eastern Europe. The bird-ringing work in recent years has revealed that the lagoon at La Nava is possibly one of the most important stopping sites in their postnuptial migration.
In the Valencian Region, in collaboration with Gotur, a “constant effort station” is being developed. Once a week, marsh birds are ringed in the Tancat de Milia at the Albufera in Valencia. One-off campaigns are also organized in spring, aimed at the ringing of passerines in their prenuptial migratory passage. These campaigns have confirmed that the Tancat de Milia provides a favourable habitat for aquatic warblers.
Steppe Birds LIFE project
In August, 2016, the Steppe Birds LIFE project began with the aim of stopping the decline in the steppe bird populations in different Natura 2000 areas in Castilla La Mancha. These birds are classified in Annex I of the Birds Directive as in decline, threatened or impoverished according to the latest reports from EIONET. These species include the little bustard (Tetrax tetrax), Dupont’s lark (Chersophilus duponti), the common sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata), the black-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) or the stone curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus). Other Annex I species that are stable but whose breeding areas are in decline would also benefit, such as the great bustard (Otis tarda) or the crane (Grus grus).
The actions foreseen include the application of conservation measures favouring the species referred to in the project, the preparation of Regional Steppe Birds Conservation Plan and the improvement of our understanding of the situation and threats of different species.
In order to achieve the goals proposed, the project is founded on close collaboration with the farming and husbandry sector to diminish the threats derived from the changes in these production systems. With this aim, agrarian production models and competitive sustainable marketing systems will be supported so as to enable the maintenance of the territory’s mosaic structure. For example, a Code will be applied for the Sustainable Production and Provisioning of Cereals and Legumes for the Conservation of Steppe Birds.
The Global Nature Foundation and the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development Department of the Castilla La Mancha Regional Government have developed this project with the support of the European Commission’s LIFE financial instrument and the Town Councils of Lillo, Madridejos, Pedro Muñoz and Villacañas.
Project website: www.estepasdelamancha.es
Fundación Global Nature