Mallorca’s bird populations face sharp decline

22 per cent decline in Mallorca's bird numbers

Common Pochard (Aythra farina) Credit: Imran Shah/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

The beautiful island of Mallorca is witnessing a sharp decline in its bird populations, with numbers dropping by 22 percent over the past decade.

This worrying trend is highlighted by the Grupo Ornitologico Balear (GOB), which points to climate change as a significant factor.

Higher temperatures and less rainfall are making Mallorca less hospitable for these birds, affecting their migration patterns and breeding success.

The annual census, part of the International Waterfowl Census by Wetlands International, revealed that species like the tufted pochard are particularly hard-hit, with a 75 per cent decrease.

Other species, including the common pochard, spoonbill, teal, and mallard, have also seen substantial declines. Coots, critical for indicating freshwater quality, have decreased by 20 per cent.

Mallorca’s Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park remains a critical habitat, hosting the majority of the bird species found in the Balearic Islands.

Yet, the overall decline paints a bleak picture of the island’s ecological health and the future of its bird populations.

The GOB suggests multiple factors behind these declines, including adverse breeding seasons and diminishing wetlands. This situation underscores the pressing need for conservation efforts to combat the effects of climate change and preserve Mallorca’s rich biodiversity.

This census, which was made possible by 160 volunteers across the Balearic Islands, reflects the community’s commitment to understanding and addressing these environmental challenges.

As the data contributes to a global understanding of wetland and bird conservation, it also serves as a call to action for the island and beyond.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.