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Reintroducing the Osprey to Portugal – Raptors Conservation 27

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Full reference: Palma L., Beja P., Dias A., Ferreira J., Mirinha M. Reintroducing the Osprey to Portugal. — Raptors Conservation. 2013. №27. P. 21-31.

Abstract

Breeding Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) were common in Portugal at the beginning of the 20th century. Thereafter, a continuous decline led them to as few as 3 pairs in 1978 when the species was rediscovered in the Southwest coast. Against all odds, this relict population managed to survive for 25 more years until the last individual disappeared after 2003. Ten years later a recovery project eventually found its way. With the collaboration of Finland and Sweden as donor countries, a 5-year project was set up in 2011 and subsequently developed by Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources/Porto University (CIBIO) with the funding of EDP, the Portuguese Electric Company. The project applies hacking procedures long used in the recovery of extinct raptor populations and closely follows identical projects carried out in England and Spain. The Alqueva dam was selected as the most suitable area in the short run for its vastness, prey abundance, calm waters and its light and easily manageable human pressure. So far, 26 osprey nestlings were successfully translocated, hacked and released. First returns are expected from 2014 onwards.

Keywords

birds of prey, raptors, Osprey, Pandion haliaetus, Portugal, reintroduction, conservation

References

Bretagnolle V., Mougeot F., Thibault J.-C. Density dependence in a recovering Osprey population: demographic and behavioural processes. – Journal of Animal Ecology. 2008. 77. P. 998–1007.
Casado E., Ferrer M. Analysis of reservoir selection by wintering Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) inAndalusia,Spain: a potential tool for reintroduction. – Journal of Raptor Research. 2005. 39. P. 168–173.
Dennis R. Ospreys Pandion haliaetus inScotland – a study of recolonization. – Vogelwelt. 1995. 116. P. 193–195.
Dennis R., Dixon H. The experimental reintroduction of Ospreys Pandion haliaetus fromScotland toEngland. – Vogelwelt. 2001. 122. P. 147–154.
Casado E., Muriel R., Ferrer M. The recovery of an extinct breeding species in the Iberian Peninsula: the Osprey reintroduction project inAndalusia. – Abstracts of the International workshop on proper design of avian reintroduction projects: trying to establish guidelines,Baeza,Spain. Fundación Migres/Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC. 2012.
Ferguson-Lees J., Christie D.A. Raptors of the World. Houghton Mifflin Co.,New York / A & C Black Ldt.,London.,UK. 2001.
Galarza A., Zuberogoitia I. Osprey restoration project in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Basque Country).UrdaibaiBirdCenter / County Council of Biscay.Bilbao,Spain. 2012.
Hammer D.A., Hatcher R.M. Restoring Osprey populations by hacking preflighted young. – Biology and Management of Bald Eagles and Ospreys. (ed. Bird D.M.). Harpell Press. Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Québec, Canada. 1983.
Monti F. The Osprey, Pandion haliaetus, state of knowledge and conservation of the breeding population of the Mediterranean basin. Initiative PIM, 2012.
Monti F., Troisi A. Progetto Osprey. Pandion Edizioni.Roma,Italy, 2008.
Palma L. The Osprey Pandion haliaetus on the Portuguese coast: past, present and recovery potential. – Vogelwelt. 2001. 122. P. 179–190.
Palma L., Beja P. A conservation program for Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) inPortugal. Unpublished report,AlgarveUniversity,Faro,Portugal. 1999.
Rymon L.M. The restoration of Ospreys, Pandion haliaetus, to breeding inPennsylvania by hacking (1980–89). – Raptors in the modern world. (eds. Meyburg, B-U., Chancellor, R. D.). WWGBP,Berlin,Germany, 1989. P. 359–362.
Schmidt D., Dennis R., Saurola P. The Osprey in the Western Palearctic. – Vogelwelt. 2001. 122. P. 115–226.

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