Aguila perdicera - Murcia - Management of Hiraaetus fasciatus - Almenara- Murcia

LIFE02 NAT/E/008602

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Project Manager: Pablo FERNÁNDEZ ABELLÁN
Tel: +34968228840
Fax: +34968228922
Email: emilio.aledo@carm.es

Project description:


Given the drastic decline of the Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) population in recent years, this species is in a very precarious situation. One of its best refuges, harbouring three-quarters of the European population, can be found in Spain. The Almenara mountain range (a special protected area), which includes Las Moreras and Cape Cope, in the south of Murcia, offer a very suitable habitat for this typically Mediterranean rupicolous raptor. The SPA features medium-altitude thermophilic mountains and uneven relief and has seven pairs of Bonelli's eagles. The major threats confronting the species in this territory include the existence of dangerous electric cables and the loss or deterioration of its habitat, mainly caused by intensive agriculture and by urban development projects. Other negative factors include the risk of illegal poisoning, the scarcity of food, caused partly by the intensive hunting of the species it preys upon (mostly rabbits, red-legged partridge and pigeons) and other forms of competition with humans for the same environment.


Through this project, a series of actions were to be carried out with the aim of improving and maintaining the natural habitats of the Bonelli's eagle in the Almenara SPA. In this way, the conservation of the species was to be made compatible with the socio-economic development of the communities affected by the SPA designation. Conventions or agreements were to be established with the owners of game preserves and agricultural holdings for the joint management of habitats. In cooperation with electricity companies, dangerous power lines (high and medium voltage) were to be corrected. Populations of the Bonelli's eagle's main prey, i.e. rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) were to be reinforced. Educational and awareness raising activities with the local population and stakeholders were to be carried out and most importantly an intergrated management plan for the SPA was to be obtained through the project.


While most of the actions were successfully completed, the Management Plan for the SPA had not been approved by the end of the project. This tool is crucial for the conservation of suitable habitats in this region and hence for the conservation of the Bonelli's eagle since its status is still critical. The number of pairs in the SPA is stable but does not show clear signs of recovery. The SPA management plan would also benefit other priority bird species. Several other actions have been successfully implemented. Thousands of rabbits and red-legged partridge were released to reinforce their populations. The cooperation with the electricity companies in order to mitigate the hazards of dangerous power lines was achieved. 10.6 km of high tension power lines have been corrected by marking with polypropylene orange spirals (original target was 6km). Mid-tension lines were also corrected. Voluntary agreements with land owners were signed.


Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds


endangered species‚  mountainous area‚  environmental impact of energy‚  protected area

Target species

 Hieraaetus fasciatus     

Target Habitat types

  • 8210 - Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation
  • 8230 - Siliceous rock with pioneer vegetation of the Sedo-Scleranthion or of the Sedo albi-Veronicion dillenii
  • 92D0 - Southern riparian galleries and thickets (Nerio-Tamaricetea and Securinegion tinctoriae)
  • 1240 - Vegetated sea cliffs of the Mediterranean coasts with endemic Limonium spp.
  • 1430 - Halo-nitrophilous scrubs (Pegano-Salsoletea)
  • 5210 - Arborescent matorral with Juniperus spp.
  • 5220 - Arborescent matorral with Zyziphus
  • 5330 - Thermo-Mediterranean and pre-desert scrub
  • 6110 - Rupicolous calcareous or basophilic grasslands of the Alysso-Sedion albi
  • 6220 - Pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals of the Thero-Brachypodietea

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Consejería de Agua y Agricultura
Type of organisation Regional authority
Description The Dirección General del Medio Natural of the Region of Murcia is a public authority which deals with the management of the natural environment, development of projects, improvement works, conservation and protection of natural resources.
Partners IBERDROLA, Spain REE, Spain


Project reference LIFE02 NAT/E/008602
Duration 01-JUL-2002 to 30-JUN -2006
Total budget 1,113,232.00 €
EU contribution 834,924.00 €
Project location


Read more:

Leaflet Folleto del proyecto (4.5 MB)
Project web site Project's website (EN)
Publication: Layman report Layman report (ES)
Publication: Layman report Layman report(EN)
Video feature Video feature of the project (EN)(44.2 MB)


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version