sábado, abril 23, 2011

Winter roosting places of Red Kite in Navarra: demography, characterization and use. English summary.


Navarra is a region of around 10.000 km2 located in the northern part of Spain, along the Spanish/French border, and to the south of the Pyrenees. The navarran population of Red Kites was first thoroughly monitored twice in the 90’s during the 92/93 and 93/94 wintering seasons and then continuously counted in the 2000’s for the last 11 winter seasons.

The results of the last wintering season are presented in this report. The average of the population estimate for the Navarran population for the 13 census done is 2.157. The total count for the 2010/2011 wintering period was 1.724 individuals what represents 16 % less than the average. It represents an increase of 12 % versus the precedent year but a decrease of 34 % in comparison with the maximum value obtained in 05/06. In the last 4 years the population seems to stabilize in the range of 1.800-2.000 birds while in previous years the population was ranging between 2.200-2.700.

The Navarran wintering population of Red kite is distributed among 20-21 roosting areas, each one having a variable number of roosting places.

This winter season 3 red kites were found dead in what seems to be a new episode of poisoning. Two roosting places were destroyed (the trees were cut) last year after the general census and obviously were not used by the kites this year. One additional traditional roosting place was destroyed during this season. This population seems to be very dependent on the public dumping areas and this is the potential reason for the significant changes observed in the distribution of the kites inside the region in the last few winters when several dumping areas were closed and dumping activities concentrated in a few places.

This year, together with the annual report, our Society is recommending a number of conservation measures to our regional government which are summarized below. The implementation of these recommendations is particularly urgent because in February this year the Spanish Government has declared the Red Kite in Spain in the highest level of thread: in danger of extinction.

Proposed conservation actions:

Species monitoring. Both as wintering and breeding species.

Marking activities. Proposal to keep on the marking of individuals in order to better understand the movements of them, the land use and the potential threads to the species.

Compiling of casualties. The Gorosti Society has compiled all available (to us) animal casualties for the species, particularly for the last 5 years. This shows a dead toll of 18 red kites for that period. The potential root-causes for those are envisioned and identified, not a big surprise, as poisoning and wind-farms. The creation of a database with this information at national and international level is proposed.

A national and international cooperation is also proposed for the compilation of sightings of marked animals as well as for synchronized censuses.

The creation of special protection and monitoring areas together with supplementary feed areas is proposed. One of those was already in use this winter. This action will allow to establish kites to low risk areas and this, together with the additional feed, will contribute to increase the over-winter survival of the species.

Socialization and economic sustainability of the conservation of the species. A number of actions are proposed.

The support to volunteer activities for the monitorization of the species.

The publication of a summary to be distributed locally in the areas where the species is present.

The creation of observatories of the species that could on the one hand help monitoring the species and on the other create the complicity and the adhesion of local people.

Year
Count
Population estimate
1993
2.181
2.290
1994
2.147
2.254
2001
2.142
2.249
2002
2.026
2.229
2003
1.673
2.008
2004
2.522
2.522
2005
2.137
2.244
2006
2.615
2.667
2007
2.175
2.240
2008
1.894
1.951
2009
1.866
1.959
2010
1.536
1.613
2011
1.724
1.810
Average
2.049
2.157

This census and report was sponsored by the Government of Navarre under the NECROPIR project Project nr. EFA 130/09