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AQUILA a-LIFE - Accomplish Western Mediterranean Bonelli's Eagle recovery by working together for an electricity grid suitable for birds

LIFE16 NAT/ES/000235


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Contact details:

Contact person: CARLOTA VIADA SAULEDA
Tel: 34637702967
Email: carlotaviada@yahoo.es



Project description:

Background

Between the 1970s and 1990s, Bonelli's eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) disappeared from Palencia, Leon, Soria, Segovia, Avila, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Mallorca, Sardinia and Calabria. Conservation efforts carried out over the last 20 years have not been as effective as expected and the species is almost extinct in Navarra, Álava and Burgos; though some pairs survive thanks to the LIFE BONELLI project (LIFE12 NAT/ES/000701). In addition, the progressive loss of its potential territory is still taking place in other areas such as Aragón, Castilla y León, and Castellón. In Italy, it faces extinction in 50 years.


Objectives

AQUILA a-LIFE aims at increasing the occurrence of the Bonelli's eagle population in the western Mediterranean (the centre and north of the Iberian Peninsula and in Sardinia), and at reversing its current regressive population trend, by contributing to the restoration of the habitats where it once lived. The project proposes working for the recovery of the species over a broad geographical area at the meta-population level (rather than at the level of small local populations). Bird releases will enable the return of the species, while the project will also address threats to the species. This methodology has previously been effective in the LIFE BONELLI project. Therefore, further bird releases are planned where those previous results were positive (Madrid, Navarra, Álava), and the methodology will also be transferred to Sardinia. Therefore, this project can be considered as the second phase of LIFE BONELLI project, given that reintroduction and reinforcement projects often require several stages of implementation.

The project has the following specific objectives:

  • To reduce the risk that Bonelli's eagle and other bird species die as a result of electrocution in their natural habitat, both inside and outside protected areas;
  • To conduct a thorough assessment of the conservation status of the Mediterranean meta-population of Bonelli's eagle, and the effectiveness of the recovery measures implemented;
  • To involve all sectors, particularly hunting, in the recovery and management of Bonelli's eagle, to increase acceptance of the species;
  • To assess the impact of the reintroduction of a top-level predator, such as the Bonelli’s eagle, on the ecosystem functions on a Mediterranean island;
  • To reduce the risk of Bonelli's eagle or other birds dying by drowning in artificial ponds or by colliding with wires in espaliered vineyards;
  • To increase the competitiveness of Bonelli's eagle against the golden eagle in its historical breeding territories; and
  • To increase society's respect towards Bonelli's eagle in particular and towards raptors in general.
  • Expected results:

  • Release of 25 individuals in Sardinia and 75 in the Iberian Peninsula (Madrid, Álava and Navarra), where there are already 10 to 15 new Bonelli's eagle pairs (including Mallorca);
  • Proposed recommendations and measures to solve the problem of bird electrocution in Spain in the White Paper format, with at least 480 electricity power line pylons retrofitted;
  • Updated European action plan for the Bonelli's eagle;
  • Establishment of partnerships with hunters and relevant stakeholders in Alava, Mallorca and Navarra in order to increase Bonelli's eagle survival;
  • Floating structures for birds in 200 irrigation ponds in Mallorca, and three cattle pond escape routes for wildlife in Navarra;
  • A type of strap promoted as an alternative to wire in espaliered (supported/trained) vines in Mallorca and Álava, with practical sessions and a demonstration installation on 1 ha of vines in Álava;
  • Three supplementary feeding points for Bonelli's eagle, and 20 ha cleared with installation of rabbit burrows in Navarra and Álava as a prey source;
  • Raising awareness about the project and replication of the eagle’s reinforcement/ reintroduction in other places.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Target species

 Hieraaetus fasciatus     


Natura 2000 sites

SPA ES0000056 Encinares del río Alberche y río Cofio
SPA ES0000089 Valle del Tiétar y embalses de Rosarito y Navalcán
SPA ES0000150 PEÑA DE ETXAURI
SPA ES0000151 CAPARRETA
SPA ITB044009 Foresta di Monte Arcosu
SCI ES0000073 Costa Brava de Mallorca
SCI ES0000184 VALLE DEL TIÉTAR
SCI ES0000185 CERRO DE GUISANDO
SCI ES0000186 PINARES DEL BAJO ALBERCHE
SCI ES2200022 Sierra de Lokiz
SCI ES2200029 Sierra de Codés
SCI ES2200030 Tramo medio del río Aragón
SCI ES3110004 Cuenca del río Manzanares
SCI ES3110005 Cuenca del río Guadarrama
SCI ES3110006 Vegas, cuestas y páramos del sureste de Madrid
SCI ES3110007 Cuencas de los ríos Alberche y Cofio
SCI ES4240018 SIERRA DE ALTOMIRA
SCI ES4250001 Sierra de San Vicente y valles del Tiétar y Alberche
SCI ES4250009 YESARES DEL VALLE DEL TAJO
SCI ES5310008 Es Galatzó - s'Esclop
SCI ES5310009 Es Teix
SCI ITB020014 Golfo di Orosei
SCI ITB021103 Monti del Gennargentu
SCI ITB022212 Supramonte di Oliena, Orgosolo e Urzulei - Su Sercone
SCI ES0000169 Río Tajo en Castrejón, islas de Malpica de Tajo y Azután
SPA ES0000246 Arabako Hegoaldeko Mendilerroak / Sierras Meridionales de Álava
SCI ES2110018 Toloño mendilerroa / Sierra Toloño
SCI ES2110022 Entzia
SCI ES4110113 CERRO DE GUISANDO
SCI ES4110114 PINARES DEL BAJO ALBERCHE
SCI ES4110115 VALLE DEL TIÉTAR
SCI ES5310090 Puig d'Alaró - Puig de s'Alcadena
SCI ES5310101 Randa
SPA ES0000163 SIERRA DE ALTOMIRA
SPA ES0000441 D'Alfabia a Biniarroi
SCI ES2110019 Izki
SPA ITB013018 Capo Figari, Cala Sabina, Punta Canigione e Isola Figarolo
SPA ITB013044 Capo Caccia
SPA ITB023037 Costa e Entroterra di Bosa, Suni e Montresta
SPA ITB023049 Monte Ortobene
SPA ITB023051 Altopiano di Abbasanta
SPA ITB043055 Monte dei Sette Fratelli
SPA ES0000482 Arbaiun-Leire


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator Grupo para la Rehabilitación de la Fauna Autóctona y su Hábitat
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description GREFA is an NGO, founded in 1981, dedicated to the study and conservation of nature. Its focus is on the recuperation of injured wild birds, from which different local, national and international projects have emerged. In 2011, it was declared a public utility entity in Spain. GREFA has been a member of IUCN since 2014.
Partners Gestión Ambiental de Navarra S.A., Spain Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, France Diputación Foral de Álava – Arabako Foru Aldundia, Spain Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e Ricerca Ambientale, Italy Fundació Natura Parc, Spain

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Project reference LIFE16 NAT/ES/000235
Duration 01-OCT-2017 to 30-SEP -2022
Total budget 4,752,383.00 €
EU contribution 3,440,993.00 €
Project location Galicia(España) Asturias(España) Cantabria(España) País Vasco(España) Navarra(España) Rioja(España) Aragón(España) Madrid(España) Castilla-León(España) Castilla-La Mancha(España) Extremadura(España) Cataluña(España) Comunidad Valenciana(España) Baleares(España) Andalucía(España) Murcia(España) Ceuta y Melilla(España) Canarias(España) Pays de la Loire(France) Sardegna(Italia)

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