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Little Bustard in sharp decline (1 Viewer)

Gonçalo Elias

Well-known member
Portugal
During the last 30 years there has been a strong decline in the population and distribution area of Little Bustards in Portugal (and Spain).

Here are two maps. The one on the left is from the first breeding bird atlas (1978-1984), the other one is from eBird and refers to spring records during the last five years (2016-2020). The species no longer breeds in the northeast and is extremely scarce in the southwest. In the eastern Alentejo Little Bustards are still widespread, but their numbers have decreased as well.

sisao atlas 89.jpg sisao 2016-2020 - red.jpg
 

etudiant

Registered User
Supporter
The 'agricultural intensification' aspect has lots of byways.
One of them is that apparently some important crops are getting cultivated in rows of shrubs, held in line by wire.
The birds can no longer forage around the individual plants and are very constrained as to their takeoff runs.
Spain and Portugal used to have agricultural systems that had more or less equilibrated with their fauna.
Modern techniques are obviously shifting the balance. One cannot travel through Iberia without noting the empty villages alongside the vast expanses of farmed land punctuated by huge warehouses of 'Grupo Something'.
I don't think birds have much of a voice in Spain or Portugal.
 

rosbifs

Well-known tool
France
Very sad indeed.

Stephen from Catalan Bird Guides has been raising the problem around the Steppes of northern Spain for some time, loss of habitat and the huge irrigation program. This is pushing birds like the Bustards and the Sandgrouse into marginal areas. I'm sure that covid may have a small impact in terms of, perhaps, poaching (no evidence).

France is very much the same, in terms of farming intensification, following a shift in farm subsidies and the reduction of 'set aside' leading to previous good habitats being bulldozed and ploughed.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
The OP started the same thread elsewhere - so now there are two identical threads. A bit confusing because I saw this and thought I had already commented but my post had gone!



sad news yes.
 

Gonçalo Elias

Well-known member
Portugal
The OP started the same thread elsewhere - so now there are two identical threads. A bit confusing because I saw this and thought I had already commented but my post had gone!



sad news yes.

Sorry about the confusion. I posted it here (Portugal) and in the conservation forum, as I thought it might get read by different people.

If you think this approach is not good, I won't do it again.
 

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