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.
• Elaboration and approbation of a Recovery Plan for the Canarian
• 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
• 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.