The Eleonora’s falcon population remains stable in the Balearic Islands

Jan 9, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

A complete count has been carried out this year after ten years without censuses.

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The Eleonora’s falcon population

The Species Protection Service has completed Eleonora’s falcon count in the main nesting areas of the Balearic archipelago. The results show that the populations have been maintained over the years, as the changes observed are due to the usual fluctuations in the populations.

In the Serra de Tramuntana, 432 individuals have been observed, which is 23% less than the last census, in 2012, when 564 Peregrines were observed. Although this represents a decline of 13% compared to the average of previous censuses, carried out between 2002 and 2012. This drop, say the experts, is due to normal fluctuations of the species and is not attributed to a worsening of the population.

The second area with the most specimens counted was the island of Tagomago, with 141 specimens, followed by Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell, with 112 specimens. In Es Amunts, 68 Peregrines have been observed. The trend in the latter two populations is stable compared to 2004 and 2014.

With respect to Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell, a negative trend is observed, which may be more associated with a complication in the detection of specimens due to the orography of the site, rather than a drop in the population. The average so far at this site has been 399 specimens. The colonies of Eivissa represent a very important point, since although they do not have the same number of specimens as in the Serra de Tramuntana, they are distributed over a less extensive area and, therefore, with a higher density per square metre.

In the Cabrera Archipelago Maritime-Terrestrial National Park, eleven small colonies have been observed, with a total of 72 specimens. This represents a decrease of 32% compared to the census carried out in 2014, with 106 specimens.

In the Natural Park of sa Dragonera, 63 individuals have been counted, 28% below the average of the last twenty years, of 88 specimens.

The Balearic Islands are a breeding and feeding area for this migratory protected species from the time it arrives in spring from Madagascar until autumn when it departs on its post-nuptial migration. Nesting coincides with the time of greatest concentration of small migratory passerines, on which they feed.