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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.


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.


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


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Raptors conservation


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