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LIFE Rupis - Egyptian Vulture and Bonelli’s Eagle Conservation in Douro/Duero Canyon

LIFE14 NAT/PT/000855


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Contact details:

Contact person: Joaquim TEODÓSIO
Tel: 351213220430
Fax: 351213220439
Email: joaquim.teodosio@spea.pt



Project description:

Background

Douro Internacional e Vale do Águeda SPA and Arribes del Duero SPA form one of the main areas for Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Bonelli´s eagle (Aquila fasciata) and red kite (Milvus milvus) in the Iberian Peninsula. For the Egyptian vulture, the local population represents 10% of the total population of the peninsula. For Portugal, the area is the last stronghold of the Egyptian vulture and the red kite in the country.

The populations of all these birds of prey are declining nationally and in the wider EU. In the project area/SPAs these populations are still high, though breeding rates have declined and adult mortality rates increased as a result of poor habitat quality, disturbance and persecution.

Populations of Bonelli's eagle are stable in both SPAs with 13 breeding pairs since 2006, but the number of flying chicks fell from eight in 2006 to just four in 2013. As for the Egyptian vulture, the population in both SPAs decreased from 157 breeding pairs in 2006 to 116 in 2013, a 35% decline.


Objectives

The LIFE Rupis project aims to:

  • Strengthen the populations of Egyptian vulture and Bonelli’s eagle in Douro Internacional valley, through improved breeding success and reduction of mortality;
  • Improve the reproductive rate for both species (the target is at least one flying chick per active nest per year for both species);
  • Reduce nest disturbance for these species with the aim of eliminating persecution of all breeding pairs in the project area;
  • Increase food availability, particularly during breeding season;
  • Reduce adult mortality for both species;
  • Improve the habitat quality through better management of farming and grazing practices; and
  • Better knowledge and dissemination of best practices for wildlife conservation.
  • Expected results:

  • Improvement of breeding productivity of Egyptian vulture and Bonelli’s eagle, compared with baseline (2006-2013) data;
  • Increased red partridge and European rabbit abundance compared with 2015 baseline through better habitat and game management in at least six Bonelli’s eagle territories;
  • Increased pigeon abundance, compared with 2015 baseline, through the recovery and reactivation of traditional pigeon houses in eight Bonelli’s eagle territories;
  • Establishment of temporary local feeding stations for small scavengers, functioning within the EU and national sanitary regulations, serving at least 50 territories of Egyptian vulture;
  • Surveys of all vulnerable nests and their protection during critical periods;
  • Every individual of the target species that is found injured sent to recovery centres, which are equipped to treat these species and to deal with suspected poisonings;
  • Two operative human-canine brigades to detect and act against illegal use of poison in the field. More than 300 monitoring actions to detect poison in the field performed per year in the project area;
  • At least 50% of all suspected cases of illegal poisoning in the project area are adequately investigated and documented, and at least one case followed through a criminal process;
  • Data on the prevalence of heavy metals and veterinary drugs on scavenging raptors available for future conservation planning;
  • At least 120 electric pylons retrofitted as a mitigating measure against bird electrocution;
  • Pilot habitat management covering at least 120 ha through traditional livestock practices and results disseminated;
  • At least 15 land owners or other land managers are members of the poison-free network;
  • Two international workshops on bird of prey conservation issues held;
  • Two ‘Bird of the Year’ campaigns carried out;
  • 5 000 people reached through different communication means in whole project; and
  • Area of SPA enlarged to secure more effective protection.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Species - Birds


Keywords

environmental impact of agriculture‚  grazing‚  agricultural method‚  poison


Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive ...

Target species

 Aegypius monachus   Hieraaetus fasciatus   Milvus milvus   Neophron percnopterus     


Natura 2000 sites

SPA PTZPE0038 Douro Internacional e Vale do Águeda
SCI ES0000118 ARRIBES DEL DUERO
SCI PTCON0022 Douro Internacional
SCI ES4150096 ARRIBES DEL DUERO


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves (SPEA) is a non-profit environmental NGO that is focused on the study and conservation of birds and their habitats in Portugal through the promotion of sustainable development. SPEA has been BirdLife International’s partner in Portugal since 1999. This cooperation reinforces SPEA’s conservation work and allows it to engage in international activities.
Partners Palombar(Palombar, Associação da Conservação da Natureza e do Património Rural), Portugal FPN Cyl(Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castila y León), Spain JCyL(JUNTA DE CASTILLA Y LEON), Spain ATN(Transumância e Natureza - Associação), Portugal GNR(Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR)), Portugal ICNF(Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas), Portugal VCF(Stichting The Vulture Conservation Foundation), Netherlands EDP-D(EDP Distribuição – Energia, S.A), Portugal

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Project reference LIFE14 NAT/PT/000855
Duration 16-JUL-2015 to 15-JUL -2019
Total budget 3,578,924.00 €
EU contribution 2,672,481.00 €
Project location Castilla-León(España) Norte(Portugal) Centro(Portugal)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website

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