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Good news for big raptors in Madrid?

John Muddeman
20/03/2009 12:38:35

The president of Madrid aims to change the law to enable more carrion to remain for scavengers

Posted in: Birds, Endangered Wildlife and Habitats | Madrid | Spanish Mainland, Central Spain

A recent news article has detailed that the President of the Madrid Community has declared that she is 'absolutely decided' on changing a regional law in order for livestock dying of natural causes to remain in the field and so be available for carrion feeders.

While this is just as likely to be a move to save money in the extremely costly process of recovering, transporting and incinerating all the livestock that currently die, it is also potentially very good news for the populations of carrion feeders, particularly Eurasian Black and Eurasian Griffon Vultures and Spanish Imperial and Golden Eagles which regularly consume carrion.

The lack of available food has lead (either directly or indirectly) to dramatic and major declines in the populations of some species, particularly Griffon and Egyptian Vultures in Spain in recent years, caused by the 'over-'application of an EU directive back in 2002, principally relating to Mad Cow disease.

When it will come into force and how much effect this will have remain to be seen, but it is also hoped that other regional authorities will follow suit.

While the old system of carrion pits -where dead animals from a general area were dumped for scavenging animals- have almost completely disappeared, many areas have had to take to providing the birds with supplementary food given the massive reduction in carrion available in the field.

And maybe it will also help in the establishment of a few wolves in the Community, which are on the brink of recolonising the region in the Sierra de Guadarrama.

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