camara guirre

Guirre (Egyptian Vulture) Endangered species - Life Project


SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT

Project title: THE CONSERVATION OF GUIRRE IN SPAs OF THE FUERTEVENTURA ISLAND

Objective: The Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) is included in the Anexe I of the de Directive 79/409/EEC, catalogued as "Vulnerable" en España (Real Decreto 439/90), and declared as "Endangered" in the Canary Islands (Decreto 151/2001). Is a scarce bird in Europe (1.800 breeding pairs) with irregular distribution around the Mediterranean region. It has suffered a strong population decline during the XXth century. The Spanish population, with 1.500 breeding pairs, is around 83% of the continental population. The Fuerteventura Island holds the most southern population in the European Union and the only belonging to the Canarian subspecies (N. p. majorensis) with only 150 individuals. This project proposes actuation in five SPAs where 58 % of the total population and 62 % of the island population breed. The main objective is to stop the population decline (30% during the last twenty years). In addition, the proposed measures will benefit steppary avian species (Houbara and Cream-coloured coursor) considered as “priority bird species” by the European Union.

Actions and means envolved:
Casualties in power lines (electrocution and collision), illegal poisoning, and lead intoxication by ingestion of bullets are the main mortality factors for adults and juveniles. Human disturbance in breeding areas is responsible of numerous breeding failures. Habitat deterioration and modernisation of farming determines a reduction in the availability of food resources (carcasses), thus determining that abandoned territories are scarcely attractive for potential colonisation by floaters.
It is proposed: to reduce adult and juvenile mortality caused by electrocution and collision in power lines, poisoning, and lead intoxication. To increase the productivity of the regional population by means of a reduction of human disturbance in breeding areas during the critic period (February-July). To preserve habitat in territories, stopping the transformation of the environment and increasing the availability of food resources through creation of new “vulture restaurants”. To inform public opinion about both, the critic situation of the species in Fuerteventura and the conservation measures aimed to its recovery.

Proposed measures:
• Elaboration and approbation of a Recovery Plan for the Canarian Egyptian Vulture.
• Modifications in power lines.
• Reduction of breeding failures by means of vigilance in the vicinity of nests. In these areas, regulation of activities as hunting, photography, bird-watching, trekking and tourism. Evaluation of the derived impact by the build and use of infrastructures, and elaboration of the measurements to mitigate these effects.
• Increase of food availability through the creation of “vulture restaurants” in collaboration with local farmers.
• Creation of a “genetic stock” with irrecoverable birds.
• Development of public campaigns based on the edition of divulgative material and specific activities directed to different sectors of the local population.
Expected results
• Recovery of the breeding population and increase of the productivity.
• Restoration of the demographic equilibrium between adult mortality and reposition rate.
• Amelioration of the habitat in SPAs, reducing the mortality of endangered species in power lines.
• Acquisition of experience in the management of arid environments.

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