Fundación Iberdrola is collaborating with the Spanish Ornithological Society, SEO/BirdLife, on a new project to study the migratory movements of birds in Spain: “Bird Migration (MIGRA)”.
The main purpose of the project, which began in 2011, is to track each species’ movements over one or several years. This identifies which species make long journeys, their migratory routes, rest areas during migration and wintering areas. It also identifies which species make solely dispersive movements other than during the mating season and which species are entirely sedentary.
As well as the main objective, the project also:
- Identifies mating and wintering areas, dispersion and migration of avifauna in Spain.
- Provides information on how they birds use the territory during each period, in each area.
- Identifies the factors that determine the migratory movements of birds.
- Documents the migratory strategy and characteristics of the migration: start and end date, speeds, altitudes, directions, average daily distances, times, rest areas, etc.
- Reveals whether the birds follow the same migratory routes year after year.
- Establishes the ways they use the migratory space and the strategies used by groups of species (soaring, non-soaring, diurnal, nocturnal, etc.), species, ages and sexes.
- Gives information about intraspecific migratory differences by regions.
- Studies any changes in these patterns over time and their connection to climate change.
- Makes this work available on a web page as the main informative tool.
- Promotes the creation of scientific studies contributing to the conservation of birds and their habitats.
- Having gathered the information on all the birds in Spain, the aim is to publish a migration atlas of avifauna in Spain.
Since the project began in 2011, numerous birds have been tagged to obtain detailed information on their migratory routes.
One of the programme’s objectives is to classify the information gathered to prepare specific monographs that show spatial ecology, movements and the migration of birds in Spain. These monographs are already available:
- Migration and spatial ecology of the Audouin’s gull in the western Mediterranean and North East Africa. The first of a series of monographs produced by the Migra programme is a study that compiles 25 years of research and proposes 15 new conservation areas for Audouin’s gull in Northeast Africa.
- Migration and spatial ecology of the Spanish population of the Booted Eagle. The second publication deals with the birds tagged since the programme began. This is a compilation of the seven-year study of this species in this programme.
The record of the birds’ movements is updated daily and is available on the Bird Migration website, together with the project objectives, activities and progress made.
To see the milestones and the most important information from 2021, download the report here [PDF].