Photo: Juan Lacruz /Wikimedia Commons

More than 100 breeding pairs of Spanish Imperial Eagle live in Andaluzia

Andaluzia’s population has increased by more than 6% since last year’s census, local authorities revealed today. This bird of prey, endemic to Portugal and Spain, is an Endangered species in both countries.

 

The census took place in Sierra Morena, Doñana and in the Cádiz region, in Andaluzia province (South of Spain, near the Portuguese border). It registered 101 breeding pairs and other eight that didn’t build a nest.

Aquila adalberti’s population increased in Sierra Morena, from 79 pairs in 2014 to 88 in 2015. Cádiz has the same birds (four pairs) and Doñana has lost two pairs (now has nine pairs).

“This is the very first time we have more than 100 breeding pairs in Andaluzia. This number is considered by the European directives Birds and Habitats as the minimum number necessary to achieve a favorable state for the species’ conservation”, says the Environmental Council of Andaluzia.

In Portugal this bird of prey is Critically Endangered. It became extinct back in 1970 and returned to nest in 2013.

According to authorities in Andaluzia, it’s crucial to achieve, at least, 500 breeding pairs in the Iberian Peninsula, in order to alter the conservation status of the species in IUCN Red List. “Since our population represents 20% of the total in Iberian Peninsula, it’s necessary to maintain 100 breeding pairs for six consecutive years. This is our goal.”