Two Lesser Kestrels Released in Alhama de Murcia


Caption: Wings of Hope: Released into the Wild, the Endangered Lesser Kestrels Begin Their Journey to Preserve Biodiversity in Saladares del Guadalentín. Image: Shutterstock/Jesus Giraldo Gutierrez

Conservation Efforts Bear Fruit: Two Lesser Kestrels Released into Saladares del Guadalentín Salt Marshes. Collaboration between Meles Association, Regional Authorities, and Local Council Proves Successful in Biodiversity Conservation.

In a significant stride towards preserving the endangered Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) also known as a small falcon, the Saladares del Guadalentín natural area witnessed the release of two majestic birds of prey into the wild. This achievement is attributed to the dedicated efforts of the Meles Association, in conjunction with the General Sub directorate of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity of the CARM, and with support from the Alhama de Murcia Town Council. These newly released kestrels now join a cohort of five others, released after a careful period of acclimatisation. The success of this initiative reflects the importance of collaboration and conservation work in safeguarding the region’s biodiversity.

The Lesser Kestrel’s Endangered Status

The Lesser Kestrel, a diminutive bird of prey, faces a critical threat due to the progressive destruction of its nesting habitats and foraging environments. Classified as endangered, this species plays a vital role in the control of pests in rainfed crops, as it preys on insects and micro-mammals. Its migratory nature prompts it to embark on an arduous journey to Africa at the end of summer, seeking winter refuge in regions around Mauritania, Senegal, and Mali. With the onset of spring, it returns to the Iberian Peninsula, where it seeks out its previous year’s nesting sites. As its migratory journey spans an astonishing 8,000 kilometres, conserving its traditional breeding sites becomes crucial for this tireless traveller.

The Collaborative Conservation Project

At the heart of the successful release of The Lesser Kestrels lies a robust collaboration between various stakeholders. The Meles Association, driven by its commitment to wildlife preservation, played a pivotal role in this endeavour. Working hand in hand with the General Sub directorate of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity of the CARM, they meticulously coordinated the rehabilitation and release of the kestrels.

Moreover, the Alhama de Murcia Town Council demonstrated exemplary dedication to biodiversity conservation. Their provision of the network of municipal estates of environmental interest bolstered the conservation efforts and aided the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia in its mission to protect these magnificent birds

A Tale of Rehabilitation and Freedom

Before their triumphant return to the Saladares del Guadalentín salt marshes, the two Lesser Kestrels, along with their five companions, underwent rehabilitation at the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre de la Comunidad Autónoma. This centre serves as a safe haven for injured or displaced wildlife, preparing them for their eventual release back into their natural habitats.

Today, the hard work and dedication of the Directorate General for the Natural Environment, supported by the Councillors for Agriculture and Youth of Alhama de Murcia Town Council, Pedro José López and Daniel Ruano, respectively, bore fruit as the last two specimens took to the skies.

Ilboc, S.A.: A Beacon of Hope

The release of the Lesser Kestrels was further supported by Ilboc, S.A., a company that played a vital role in financing this noteworthy conservation project. Their commitment to environmental initiatives exemplifies the positive impact that public-private partnerships can have on wildlife preservation.

The release of two Lesser Kestrels into the Saladares del Guadalentín salt marshes stands as a beacon of hope for the conservation of this endangered species. The collaborative efforts between the Meles Association, the General Sub directorate of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, and the Alhama de Murcia Town Council demonstrate the power of collective action in safeguarding biodiversity. As these majestic birds soar through the skies, their presence reminds us of the crucial role we all play in protecting and preserving our natural heritage for generations to come.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!