The population of this species has doubled in the Pyrenees in recent years thanks to the conservation programmes that have been put in place. The most pressing objective is to increase the number of these birds of prey on the Cantabrian coast.
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The conservation programmes for the bearded vulture carried out during recent years have doubled the population of this species in the Pyrenees, which currently has 90 breeding pairs. Public-private collaboration and that between different territories has been decisive in this recovery model, which now seeks to spread throughout the Cantabrian coast and specifically to the Picos de Europa, where the first pair of this species has already been established after disappearing 50 years from this area. The aim is to transfer this reintroduction model by relocating birds recovered in the Aragón area of the Pyrenees. To this end, there is a collaboration agreement between the Governments of Aragón, Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León, within the framework of the European project LIFE+ Red Quebrantahuesos (Bearded Vulture).
The Government of Aragón’s Centro de Cría del Quebrantahuesos en Aislamiento Humano (CRIAH), a breeding centre where the bearded vulture is reared without direct human contact, located in La Alfranca (Zaragoza) has been responsible for this conservation programme. In order to find out more about this project, a visit was paid to this centre by the Regional Minister for Rural Development and Sustainability of the Government of Aragón, Joaquín Olona, and the Regional Minister for Rural Development and Natural Resources of the Principality of Asturias, María Jesús Álvarez, accompanied by the Corporate Director of Sustainability, Innovation and Institutional Coordination for Red Eléctrica de España, Ana Cuevas and the company's representative in Aragón, José Ignacio Lallana.
Red Eléctrica, as part of the collaboration agreement they have with the Government of Aragón for the protection of birdlife, has provided 30,000 euros for upgrading this centre in which eggs extracted from nests from bearded vulture pairs with zero or reduced breeding results, and that would otherwise perhaps not survive, are incubated. Once hatched, the chicks are reared and then finally released into the wild using the hacking method.
This action is part of the Company's commitment to biodiversity conservation, an essential principle of its environmental policy and business strategy that benefits society as a whole, by making the development of electricity infrastructure compatible with the conservation of the environment.
For years now, Red Eléctrica has been collaborating on the protection of birdlife in Aragón through a variety of projects related to the recovery of species such as the Bearded Vulture or the Bonelli’s Eagle, the mapping of the flight paths of birds that are especially sensitive to the presence of electricity transmission lines and the marking of sensitive line with bird-saving devices.