Catalan eagles are Critically Endangered
October 2013. New research into Western Europe Bonelli's Eagle populations between 1980 and 2009 has found that the population in North Spain is at greatest risk.
The study, based long-term monitoring of Bonelli's Eagle populations in the Iberian Peninsula and France, revealed demographic relationships among different populations and provided an insight into population dynamics in Western Europe, the area where species is most endangered.
Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) is one of the most typical -and most endangered - raptors of the Mediterranean region. The Conservation Biology Group of the University of Barcelona (UB) has been a leading centre of research into this species and in looking for solutions to improve its conservation Since 1980,.
Bonelli's Eagle: northern and southern edges
Joan Real, professor from the Department of Animal Biology and head of the Conservation Biology Group at UB, explains that "Bonelli's Eagle is not widespread in Europe. Its range extends to southern France and the most southern populations are in Portugal and Andalusia". "We have been performing an annual analysis of Bonelli's Eagle populations in Catalonia for thirty years. This work, together with other analyses carried out by European research groups, has covered the whole eagle population for the first time."
The research reveals that eagle populations located hundreds of kilometres apart may be essential to each other's survival. "This fact is not always taken into account; if it is not considered, unsuitable conservation actions must be taken which might affect species viability in a future", remarked the Real.