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detected fv years ospreys

No Ospreys detected for 20 years on FV
#1
from Diario:

Felipe Siverio, founding partner and vice president of the Ornithology and Natural History Group of the Canary Islands (GOHNIC), has spent a good part of his life dedicated to the study and conservation of the avifauna of the Canary Islands and has just given a conference at the Asociación Raíz del Pueblo, in Fuerteventura.
His passion for winged beings arose when he was about 16 years old, when he was studying at the Institute of Los Realejos, in the north of Tenerife, and since then he has not separated himself from binoculars. In the 80s, he carried out an exhaustive field work that allowed to elucidate what the situation was like in Fuerteventura of one of the lesser-known raptors of the Canary Islands, the barn owl.
Currently, he coordinates, together with ornithologists Beneharo Rodríguez and Manuel Siverio, a project to obtain information on the populations of osprey and Barbary falcon or tagarote in the Canary Islands, two raptors of community interest and classified as threatened.
This is a proposal from the Directorate-General for the Fight against Climate Change and the Environment of the Government of the Canary Islands, co-financed by the Canary Islands ERDF Operational Programme (2014-2020).
Thanks to the field work they carry out, enough information can be obtained to establish effective measures for the conservation of the species. "In recent days we have been in Fuerteventura touring -palm by palm to palm to detect all the territories of the Barbary falcon and, with it, make a reliable estimate of the number of breeding pairs that there are", specifies the expert.
Another of the actions carried out by the group of naturalists has consisted of the visit to all the historical breeding areas of the guincho in Fuerteventura. In this regard, Siverio recalls that "this raptor stopped breeding on the island many years ago."
The project started in Fuerteventura will continue later in Lanzarote. "On this island we will also inspect a single territory occupied by osprey, perhaps by a single male, and we will make a maritime tour of the Chinijo archipelago to see what the state of the territories there is this year," he explains.
The concern of the professionals arises before the "very critical" situation of the guincho. In the last 10 years the Canary Islands have lost half of their partners.
"From 14 it has gone to only seven distributed between Alegranza, Tenerife and La Gomera," he says. The latest data on osprey breeding in Fuerteventura available to the group of experts are from the late seventies and early eighties in the southwest, "where the waters are calmer".
They also have a data from the year 2000 on the islet of Lobos, "where a couple was fixing a nest at that time," as specified.
Beyond that moment it has not been known that the guincho nested in the Maxorata. "In the surveys of the historical territories, only remains of palitroques of ancient nests and artificial nests that were placed several years ago, without success, have been found," he says.
In order to define objectives for the recovery of the species in the Islands, the group of experts must "know, identify and follow" the individuals that make up this scarce population of guincho.
To this end, in these three years of study, the marking and equipment with remote monitoring devices of adults and chickens is being carried out. In this way, all the movements of the specimens will be known, their areas of camping, rest and bathing, both in the breeding season and at other times of the year.
"The remote monitoring technique will contribute to elucidating ecological aspects barely known in the Canarian guinchos, which in turn will be an aid when implementing measures for their conservation," explains Felipe Siverio.
"Once the areas of use have been identified, the possible threat factors will be determined and analyzed, which will serve to guide the management of the species in order to mitigate the negative impacts," he adds.
Threats
"When a population is so small, the loss of a single individual is a terrible setback for the species," says the ornithologist. Power lines and turrets, with supports that can cause electrocution, constitute one of the most important risks for the guincho.
Siverio gives an example: "In the southwest of Tenerife, which is the sector where there is more movement of individuals if we exclude the cliffs of Teno, there is a great tangle of power lines with great danger. When there is a female incubating in a Teno nest, we are very afraid of what may happen to her consort, as she often performs foraging flights. We are also panicked by the network of wind farms that have been installed in the southeast of Tenerife..."
Another threat facing the species is unexpected public visits to nests on sea cliffs. "People do not notice that these birds need a lot of tranquility during and outside the breeding season," explains the naturalist.
"Fortunately, honking the horn of the boat to scare away the raptor, which incubated, and thus be able to be seen by tourists is something that apparently we have left behind," he explains. It also shows its concern about the pernicious effects of the nets abandoned at sea "with which they can be hooked".
To this are added the popular microplastics, toxic products that accumulate in your body. The guincho is not the only species facing these threats. The Barbary or Tagarote falcon is equally threatened by power lines, wind farms, the flight of drones and new sports on the rise, such as climbing, hiking, paragliding or nature photography, among others.
Beneharo Rodríguez, ornithologist

-What is the situation of the Barbary or Tagarote falcon in the Canary Islands?

This falcon must have been quite scarce for most of the twentieth century, judging by the few references to its presence. It is possible that unnatural mortality, due to gunfire or the indiscriminate use of insecticides to combat locust pests, had a lot to do with this situation. This began to change from the end of the 80s, when the first census was carried out in the Canary Islands in which only seven breeding territories were located in the eastern islands. From that time until today, the breeding population has not stopped growing, now occupying the entire Archipelago. The number of breeding pairs reaches 200. Its situation is relatively good, but it is still a threatened raptor.

-How can the mixture with specimens of peregrine falcon affect these populations?

-In the Canary Islands there are falcons whose coloration does not correspond to that of the Barbary specimen. The proportion appears to have increased over the past few decades. In Tenerife just over 50 percent of breeding falcons have a typical Barbary appearance, while the rest show darker colorations, typical of some subspecies of peregrine falcon. The causes are twofold: on the one hand, the natural arrival of peregrine falcons and, on the other, the settlement of non-native specimens escaped from captivity. In relation to the second possibility, we know of at least two cases of peregrine falcons that carried falconry equipment and that were paired with wild falcons on the island of Tenerife. One of these mixed couples has come to breed successfully.

Quote:"Another threat is the animosity to hawks of hunters and pigeonenophiles"

-What are the main threats to this species?
-The Canarian falcons face many other threats of unnatural origin such as the increase in the number of infrastructures: power lines, wind turbines and anemometric towers, which cause mortality due to electrocution or collision. On the other hand, the increase in sports and activities in nature causes some couples to fail in their reproduction. It would be necessary to influence here the popularization of the use of drones that can cause direct mortality by collision. Poisonings pose another risk. Although more studies are needed to establish the actual effect on the population, relatively high concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and rat killers have already been found in falcons admitted to recovery centers. Another difficult threat to assess is the animosity towards hawks by certain groups of hunters and pigeons, since they feed mainly on pigeons. Every year specimens are killed, even with firearms. Nor can we fail to mention the plundering of nests and the capture of specimens for illegal possession in captivity.

What has been the most emotional situation you have experienced as an ornithologist?

-Going out to the countryside to take data, take photos or just enjoy the birds or nature is my way of life. I enjoy every time we start with a new project. Locating territories of any species or observing unique behaviors is always a joy. I could mention many observations that I have enjoyed, but one of the most recent was that of a flight of a female Barbary falcon in the Jandía massif chasing a wild pigeon, which she finally did not capture, with the impressive beach of Cofete in the background.


link to original article for pics of the species
Living my dream
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