Poster 8 - II International Symposium of Red Kite

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Evolución de la población del Milano real en Baleares y situación actual. The last Red Kite’s insular population in Spain. The Red Kite Recovery Plan in the Balearic Islands. Francesc Lillo Colomar, Rafel Mas Ferrer, Joan Mayol Serra, Jordi Muntaner Yangüela, Antoni Muñoz Navarro & Lluís Parpal Ramis.

Transcript of Poster 8 - II International Symposium of Red Kite

  • The last Red Kites insular population in Spain. The Recovery Plan in the Balearic Islands

    Rafel Mas Ferrer(1), Francesc Lillo Colomar(2), Joan Mayol Serra(1), Jordi Muntaner Yangela(2), Antoni Muoz Navarro(3), Flix de Pablo Pons(4) y Llus Parpal Ramis(5)

    (1)Direcci General dEspais Naturals i Biodiversitat. Conselleria de Medi Ambient, Agricultura i Pesca. c/ Gremi Corredors, 10 1er pis. CP 07000 Palma. ; dAgents de Medi Ambient. Secretaria General Tcnica. Conselleria de Medi Ambient, Agricultura i Pesca. c/ Gremi Corredors, 10 1er pis. CP 07000 Palma. E-mail: ; Balear dOrnitologia i Defensa de la Naturalesa. c/ Manuel Sanchs Guarner, 10. CP 07004 Palma. Departamento de Medio Ambiente y Reserva de Biosfera. Consell Insular de Menorca. Plaza Biosfera 5; 07703 Ma; email: per la Recuperaci de la Fauna de les Illes Balears (COFIB). Ctra. de Sineu, Km. 15,400 CP. 07142 Santa Eugnia. e-mail:

    Census of nesting pairs. Since the program started, the task has been maintained by ornithologists, and since 2013 by the Environmental Rangers(Agentes de Medio Ambiente), which has helped to increase the effort. The change in methodology is indicated with an arrow, because the data are

    not entirely comparable. The remarkable rise in the number of couples of Mallorca is due to both a greater effort and real growth.

    Monitoring of individuals by the GOB (Balearic Group of Ornithology), partly funded by the Environment Institution. Since 2001, 254 individualshave been ringed, and have also been marked with wing bands; it has been carried on the monitoring of 195 individuals with land transmitter and 10

    with satellite transmitter. The results have helped to define the landscape use and in a very special way, to detect and locate the dead animals, key

    task against poison.

    Increase of the extension of ZEPAs. In 2007 the Special Protection Areas for birds (ZEPA - Zonas de Especial Proteccin para las Aves), including the red kite among its target species were enlarged. It meant reaching 18.500Ha in Mallorca and 18.122Ha in Menorca (see map).

    We have concentrated efforts against poison (inspections to hunting grounds, the implementation of final judgments (5 administrativeor criminal records), with a result of 4 disqualifications for hunters and the closure of 3 hunting grounds). It has been achieved to pass

    from 140 cases of poisoning between 2000-2010 to just 11 cases between 2011 and 2015. Between January and June 2015 there were

    inspected an average of 3 hunting grounds per day, involving an average of 2,5 Environmental Rangers/day.


    Correction and improvement of power lines. It began in Menorca in 1999 with the correction of 950 electricity towers(unfortunately, without prioritization) and maintained with 697 corrections in Mallorca and 333 in Menorca between 2004 and

    2015, through an agreement with ENDESA (electric power company). Since 2000, there is a selection and prioritization of the towers that

    should be corrected. The last electrocuted Red Kite that we are aware was in the month of February 2015, but the rate of electrocution

    has declined very considerably.


    In late summer of 2015 were found in an area of Mallorca 34 dead youngsters

    in the nests or close to them (20% of juveniles of the year of the island). The

    finding was late, and corresponds to deaths that occurred in previous months.

    The most likely hypothesis is poisoning, which could have ended with adults

    and chicks which could have died of starvation. There is an ongoing analysis

    (without results yet). Environmental Rangers (Agentes de Medio Ambiente)

    and SEPRONA (Guardia Civil) have worked together to inspect the affected

    area. It is not excluded that it could be related to rat extermination campaigns.

    Feeders (dunghills). There are different feeding places, which are kept weekly, with a supply of meat remains, and where photo trapping monitoring is made.

    Hacking in the Natural Park of Llevant (Mallorca). In 2008 began the translocation of chicks from other parts of Mallorca to the NE of the island, with the aim of creating a new area of reproduction farfrom landfill site (urban solid waste from all around the island), where there were risks of poisoning. Five chicks from Aragon were also released there. In total 67 chicks were released until 2014. A

    couple has settled in the park and has produced 10 chicks between 2009 and 2014, and now a communal roosting place with near 30 individuals exists.


    Conservation efforts, when being focused on a species and are targeted to the key factors of recession (in this case, the poison and

    electrocutions), allow tangible results that have materialized in an increase in the Balearic population of 14 couples in 1999 (historical

    minimum known) to 127 pairs in 2015. Informing the population and doing environmental education tasks are also a key element in

    the conservation of the species. Anyway, the case of massive poisoning of individuals detected in this year, demonstrates the need of

    maintaining active tasks against poison, even when it seems that the incidence of the problem has been overcome.


    We want to thank volunteers, Agentes de Medio Ambiente, SEPRONA, technicians of the Conselleria de Medi Ambient, GESA-ENDESA, Consorci per a la Recuperaci de la Fauna Silvestre

    (COFIB), Grup Balear dOrnitologia i Conservaci de la Naturalesa (GOB-Mallorca) , GOB-Menorca, SOM (Societat Ornitolgica de Menorca), and ultimately to all those who in one way or anotherhave worked and collaborated in the Recovery Plan.

    Foto: Carlos Pache

    Incidences typology 2005-2015

    Natural causes

    Fall to the water (poison?)







    Causas de entrada de milanos reales en centro de recuperacin

    en Mallorca (N=91)











    1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015

    Territorial couples


    Mallorca Menorca

    Death Red Kites -2015











    Total poisoning cases

    Poisonig cases Milvus milvus

    Incidence of poisoning in Balearics







    2013 2014 2015

    Number of wintering individuals in Mallorca








    1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015

    Territorial couples


    The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) breeds in the Balearic Islands, in Mallorca and Menorca. It suffered in the late twentieth century a dramatic decline near to collapse by poison

    (used by hunters against other species or by farmers against wild dogs), electrocutions and to a lesser extent direct persecution and drowning in pools (possibly associated

    with intoxication with poison). The number of pairs in Menorca fell from 135 (in the 80s: 1 pair every 5.4 km2, probably the highest known) to only 6 couples in 1999. For

    decades, its recovery has been a priority for the administration and NGOs (GOB in Mallorca and SOM in Menorca). A recovery plan was adopted in 2008, although

    conservation activities were initiated in 2000.

    Environmental Education: Information about Red Kites has reached 4,150schoolchildren (GOB Mallorca) and a similar campaign in Menorca (IME). They

    were given a total of 27 public lectures.

    Census of wintering Red Kites (in Mallorca coordinated by the GOB).

    Moratorium periods for forestry activities in nesting areas and nesting seasons.