We collaborate with the Rebird Numanii project
- An initiative organized by the Ecoágora Association for the reintroduction of the Lesser Kestrel in Vejer
From the Califa we want to contribute our grain of sand to improve and protect the biodiversity of our area, for this reason we have collaborated with the Rebird Naumanni project, launched by the Ecoágora Association, which aims to reintroduce the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) in Vejer.
Thanks to this initiative, "30 nesting boxes for the Lesser Kestrel have been located in the urban area of Vejer de la Frontera, two of them on the roof of the restaurant El Jardín del Califa. The rest have been placed in the Hotel Convento, in the municipal radio of Vejer and in some private houses", explains Fernando Gómez, founder member of the Ecoágora Association.
Members of the Ecoágora Association putting up the nest boxes in the Jardín del Califa.
This is what one of the two kestrel nest boxes looks like on the roof of the restaurant.
The first phase of the Rebird Naumani project ended in mid-February, when the bulk of the kestrel males began to arrive in our area to choose and defend suitable breeding sites.
The objective of the Rebird Numanii project for this first year is to create several breeding nuclei in Vejer de la Frontera so that in the next few years several colonies will be consolidated and in the long term they will be extended to other areas of the Janda region. "Given the ecosystemic benefits that this diurnal raptor provides, we at the ecoágora association believe that it is important to carry out voluntary actions for the construction of kestrel colonies by means of artificial nests supported by environmental education for the public", he adds. "Now we have to wait for the birds to trust each other and the colony to consolidate", he confesses. To encourage the process, "we have placed cat litter in the nests so that the kestrel eggs don't roll around and they can hatch properly," explains Gómez.
Project Summary Rebird Numanii.
The elimination of their breeding colonies is the main threat to the species. "The problem in Vejer is the lack of nesting holes, the pigeons are using the holes that they can also use from the kestrels and the boxes have been designed so that the pigeons can't get inside, walls have been restored, etc. This means that each time a kestrel has less space to breed," he says.
With this project, "not only do we want to help a species that every day finds fewer places to breed (lack of holes in monumental buildings, mechinales that become blind and disuse of tiles, abandonment and collapse of farmhouses), intensification of agriculture, pesticides, plundering of eggs and chickens, but it will also be the excuse for actions of population monitoring, scientific ringing, environmental education to schoolchildren and local people," he concludes.
According to SEO BirdLife, "it is estimated that there are a maximum of 33,000 pairs in Europe. The Spanish population, made up of some 20,000 pairs, therefore represents a very relevant part of the European contingent. In the sixties of the last century there were an estimated 100,000 pairs of first cousin in our territory. Subsequently, the species suffered a sharp decline, as 10 years later there were only 20,000-50,000 pairs. In 1989, the first national census considered that there were some 4,293-5,089 pairs, 5% of those estimated in the middle of the century".
A couple of lesser kestrels. Photo SEO BirdLife.
Ecoágora is a non-profit association made up of professionals from various fields of work with common interests: promotion of the natural and cultural heritage of the La Janda region.
Ecoágora is committed to a dynamic, participative, fun and innovative environmental education.
Among its objectives we can highlight:
- To encourage and promote sustainable development.
- Defend, preserve and promote the natural, cultural, ethnographic and environmental values of our region.
- To develop actions to improve the natural and urban environment.
- To organize activities that improve the level of training of the associates and the citizens in general.
- Carrying out studies and preparing reports of an environmental nature.
- To promote environmental education to make administrations, associations, companies and citizens in general aware of environmental problems: causes, consequences and solutions.
- To promote and disseminate all kinds of publications related to the purposes of the association.
If you are interested in knowing what other initiatives the Ecoágora Association has in progress, this is the web page and the contact details.
Do you want to know more about the kestrel? Visit SEO BirdLife.