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December 2018
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Our Mission
SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
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Main actions
Monitoring of illegal poisoning
Monitoring of illegal poison will be carried out by the Environmental Service of the GNR (SEPNA/GNR). Human-canine teams will be created, and the dogs will be trained to detect poison baits left illegally in the field to control terrestrial predators, but eventually consumed by scavenging birds. 

Correction of power lines
Based on the data collected during the first phase of the project, correction of dangerous power lines close to eagle nests or areas of vulture concentration) is planned. The corrections will be made by EDP Distribuição, in Portugal, and by Iberdrola and Red Eléctrica de España, in Spain. 

Artificial or supplementary feeding 
In order to improve food availabilityto the species covered by the project, the plan is to place carcasses, slaughterhouse waste or other animal by-products in predefined areas. In some cases supplementary feeding will be targeted to breeding pairs that are considered to be in a situation of food shortage. 

Land purchase 
Rural properties will be purchased by project partners exclusively for conservation purposes, namely for establishingvulture supplementary feeding areas , nd to sow cereal and leguminous crops, which will serve both for promotion of Bonelli’s Eagle prey populations – rabbits and partridges – and for feeding and maintenance of traditional dovecotes – pigeons are a favoured prey. Rough grazing by small ruminants, essentially sheep and goats, will also be promoted. Extensive grazing contributes to the maintenance of areas with annual plants through the control of bushy shoots and other woody plants, favouring Bonelli’s Eagle prey-species.   

Promoting local products
A national strategy for promoting products and services from the areas covered in the project will be set, aiming to value the region’s sustainable landscapes, and farming. A few examples are the production of meat with Certificate of Origin, and the promotion of ecotourism, among others. These products will be also the calling card of a region rich in natural values and an example of sustainable development. 

Environmental Education 
The involvement of local communities in conservation  is also an essential objective of the project. In addition to educational activities and field visits for students, admittedly one of the best ways to capture the attention of local communities, it will also be essential to work in close partnership with professional and amateur groups that use the countryside: farmers, shepherds, hunters, fishermen and tour operators. A specific approach aimed at each one of these groups and the creation of a network of landowners who join the motto “Estates free of poison” are planned.   

Science
The LIFE Programme is also a privileged instrument for the production of scientific information. Thus, the organization of an international seminar is planned for 2018 with the aim of disseminating the knowledge produced on the target-species – namely on the use of space and survival by individually tagged Egyptian Vultures -  and the effectiveness of conservation options.The effects of supplementary  feeding on the Egyptian Vulture, updated censuses, and local populations’ perception regarding poisons and direct and indirect contamination in birds of prey will also be researched. 

Plans and good practices manuals
Finally, at the end of the project we intend to have a transboundary action plan for the Egyptian Vulture, guiding documents on best practice for economic activities in the area, power lines, wind farms, and livestock units in environmentally sensitive areas, as well as a proposal to extend the International Douro and Águeda Valley SPA. These documents will be baseline, innovative and important planning and conservation tools in the region.




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