Red Eléctrica de España has strengthened its support for the programme dedicated to the reintroduction of Bonelli's Eagle or àguila coabarrada (Aquila fasciata) in Mallorca through the renewal of the collaboration agreement it has with the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Territory of the Balearic Government with a contribution of 88,000 euros to the project.
The extension of the agreement seeks to consolidate the excellent results achieved so far in the recovery of this species by means of locating, marking and releasing of new specimens in Mallorca; monitoring and supervision of the new population, and the development of educational activities regarding the importance of the conservation of this species.
The collaboration between Red Eléctrica and the Balearic Government for the reintroduction of Bonelli's Eagle began in 2011 with the signing of an initial agreement by which Red Eléctrica would participate until 2013 in the first recovery programme of this species.
The Bonelli's Eagle bred in Mallorca until the late 1960s in localised areas of the Sierra de Tramontana, and it was after that date when direct persecution caused their extinction. Thanks to this programme, between 2011 and 2012 ten specimens have been released in Mallorca, of which eight are still alive and have adapted very well to the environment.
Given the good results obtained and the opportunity to ensure the full viability of the project, Red Eléctrica and the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Territory of the Balearic Government have extended through 2014 the existing partnership. This contribution will make it possible to continue marking the new specimens to be released throughout 2013 with radio transmitter devices monitored via satellite. It will also allow for the intensive monitoring and control of these birds, the study of their dispersion and the evaluation of their survival rate.
The recovery programmes includes, in addition, the constant monitoring of the nests; the provision of food in the vicinity of the release points to facilitate them becoming established, and contact between environmental agents and users of the natural environment (hunters, gamekeepers, farmers) to watch over and ensure the success of the project. The ultimate goal is to achieve a stable population of 10-15 breeding pairs within ten years.
Bonelli's Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey characteristic of the Mediterranean area, where an estimated 2,000 pairs live, 750 of them in Spain. Like all birds of prey, Bonelli's Eagle is protected by law and is considered an endangered species as, since the 90s, all their populations in Europe have suffered a decline.