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EDPR contributes to the recovery of the Montagu’s harrier in the province of Albacete (Spain)

EDPR contributes to the recovery of the Montagu’s harrier in the province of Albacete (Spain)

The Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus) is a species that is particularly linked to cereal crops, mostly wheat and barley.

One of the most characteristic particularities of this species is that it always builds its nests on the ground, a fact that also constitutes one of the main threats it is exposed to since machine wheat harvesting becomes a severe risk for chicks.

Aware of this problematic, EDPR has been collaborating since 2009 with the Castilla la Mancha Communities Council in a search and rescue campaign of Montagu’s harrier nests.

These annual campaigns consist in tracking Montagu’s harrier couples in order to spot nests of this species in the area of study. Next, an agreement is made with land owners not to harvest cereal crops in a specific area near identified nests, therefore allowing chicks to carry on living in the absence of any type of risk. In turn, farmers are compensated economically for the amount of land not cropped.

EDPR invests approximately 12,500€ per year in these search and rescue initiatives which are supplemented with biannual population counts as well as in awareness-raising campaigns on the problematic of the Montagu’s harrier and its importance for the sustainability of agricultural ecosystems.

After six years collaborating on this project, it can be stated that the campaign has been a success year after year, by contributing to the progressive recovery of this species.