CONCLUSIONS

CONCLUSIONS

II International Symposium of Red Kite

Binaced, Huesca, Spain, 30th October – 1st November 2015

More than 120 experts in Red Kite, gathered in Binaced (Huesca, Spain) for the II Red Kite International Symposium, from the solid knowledge obtained at the symposium the following conclusions were drawn:

  • The results of several Red Kite surveys were presented. In Spain during 2014, the wintering population was estimated to be of 50.297 individuals, and the breeding population was estimated to be of at least 2.312 pairs. These results showed and increased if compared to 2004 data, but these results are still below the numbers found in the first Red Kite survey carried out in Spain in 1994. During the 2014-15 winter period, wintering surveys were carried out in Portugal and Italy, with the largest total counts of 1.603 and 1.612 birds respectively.
  • National and European scale coordinated winter surveys are necessary. Due to the logistic difficulty of large scale surveys, it is recommended to survey closely certain important populations during the wintering and breeding seasons, which could be used as indicators for Red Kite trends.
  • Coordination of the surveys is important, especially wintering surveys. it is proposed that wintering surveys dates are between 9 and 17 of January.
  • An international survey methodology should be agreed. Currently, sampling effort varies substantially which is reflected in difficulties in data analysis.
  • It has been noted that the foraging areas of the Red Kite show great variation both spatially and seasonally. These areas can be very large and irregular, which can overestimate the size of the population in census when analyses are conducted.
  • Satellite remote tracking of Red Kites has proved that this species shows high site fidelity both during wintering and breeding periods, which has important consequences in the conservation of the species.
  • It is recommended that the EU puts in place an action plan to fight poisoning and other common threats Red Kites face across Europe, e.i. collision infrastructure, electrocution, and collision with electricity wires, poisoning by rodenticides and poaching. For this effect it would be recommended that a Community Regulation are put in place for the prevention of electrocution, and collisions with electricity wires, including banning high risk electricity lines. With a requirements to minimum measures and obligations regarding distances in the support and signaling of conductors.
  • It is proposed that Red Kite is used as “sentinel” species for alerting of health problems in wildlife and livestock. Likewise, EU member countries are encouraged to implement long term Red Kite health monitoring programs taking advantage of supplementary feeding sites.
  • The supplementary feeding sites have been shown as an appropriate conservation tool for the species as long as they are supplied with healthy food and a programme of health controls for birds. It was advised that vets, ecologist and Red Kite specialist work together.
  • It was found that many EU countries are not implementing the European Action Plan. As a result, the symposium urges the European Commission to ensure that EU countries take any necessary steps for the conservation of the species as dictated by the Birds Directive.
  • At a national level, all countries should take the necessary steps to guarantee the conservation of the species and improve its population status. In Spain, where the Red Kite status is “endangered”, the Environment Ministry must develop a “strategy for the conservation of Red Kite” and this strategy should follow the guidelines of the International Action Plan proposed under the European Commission. At a lower level, the autonomous communities should develop and implement prescriptive and mandatory Recovery Plans where Red Kite breeds, and should designate “Critical Areas” (special or important breeding areas) of conservation priority.
  • Wildlife rescue centres sample the array of threats this species faces. It is advised that all countries ensure that any collected Red Kites, injured or dead, are taken to rescue centres so wildlife specialists vets can establish a cause of admission or death.
  • Finally, the delegates of this Symposium wish publish a statement of rejection of the proposed plan of the Biscarrues Reservoir (Huesca), where there is an important breeding population of Red Kite and, therefore, the delegates request the Environment Ministry of Spain to stop the project.

Binaced (Huesca, Spain), 31th October 2015

CONCLUSIONS

II International Symposium of Red Kite

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