The reintroduction of the Lesser Kestrel – one of the 10 best ideas to save the nature in 2011
The Red Life team has selected the Project of Reintroduction of the Lesser Kestrel in the Alhambra in Granada, developed by the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (PAG) and the Environmental Defense and Study Association (DEMA), within 10 best ideas to save the nature in 2011.
The Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni, Fleischer, 1818) is one of the smallest falcons of Europe, slightly smaller than a pigeon, but much slenderer. There exist diverse textual references that prove the presence of Lesser Kestrels in the Alhambra from the middle of the 19th century. The colony disappeared during the first third of the 20th century.
The project, which started in 1997, has made possible the return of the endangered species to the surroundings of the Nasrid monument. During the different liberation campaigns carried out since 1999, 250 Lesser Kestrel chicks were set free, 28% of which have returned to the Alhambra after their annual winter migration to Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2002, the first two breeding pairs were sighted and since then, more than 80 pairs have initiated here their breeding season and the size of the population have been varying between 2 and 10 pairs each year. More than 140 Lesser Kestrel chicks have been born in the Alhambra since the beginning of the project, so one of the most emblematic species of the manifold fauna in the Nasrid Monument is recovering from having disappeared from the Complex more than 60 years ago.
The project of Reintroduction of the Lesser Kestrel in the Alhambra in Granada is also supported by the collaboration of the Sociedad Protectora de Animales y Plantas de Granada (Granada animal and plant protection Association) and the Andalusian Ministry of Environment.