The Delta Birding Festival has a main goal of providing in an intense weekend to enjoy and get involved in the world of ornithology but it has a further objective to raise funds for bird conservation projects.

Money from ticket sales benefit is set aside each year to a conservation project, an international project amd another more local.

INTERNATIONAL PROJECT

. The 2017 edition and also that of 2018, assign this money to a very special programme to monitor the fate of the European Turtle-dove (Streptopelia turtur).

WHERE ARE OUR EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVES?

En muchos países casi han desaparecido. En el Reino Unido, la población ha bajado en más de un 90% y en Alemania, Países Bajos, Polonia, Rumanía y Rusia, se ha constatado también un declive poblacional muy severo. La especie ha entrado en la categoría global de Vulnerable.

In many countries they are almost gone. In the UK, the population has crashed by more than 90% and in Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Russia, a severely population decline has been noticed as well. The species is now in the global category of Vulnerable.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

Surely there is not a single cause for this situation. Loss of habitat quality is probably the main one but there are other factors that, no doubt, are having a negative impact such as the strong pressure that hunting is placing on this bird.

ARE THERE POPULATIONS IN EUROPE THAT ARE LESS AFFECTED?

It seems that the Catalan population and that of Southern France are more stable after an initial decline, more than a decade ago. Some data suggests that these turtle doves may be migrating over the sea instead than over land and, consequently, are not as exposed to hunting as those that migrate over mainland France and Spain, which are hunted in large numbers.

WHAT’S THIS STUDY DOING?

With the money from your ticket, the DBF collaborates in a study undertaken by the IREC that also involves many other investigation centers (ICO, CTFC, RSPB, BirdLife, etc.), in which turtle doves are marked with tracking devices of various sorts, ranging from radio emitters to GPSs. The goal: to discover what are the migration routes of the stable populations of doves in comparison with those of declining populations.

WHAT ARE WE DOING NOW?

2018 has been the first year of fieldwork of this project. The DBF has provided the traps to capture the birds, tons of seeds to lure them and emitters but more resources are needed to have a larger sample of marked turtle doves and that’s why the DBF 2018 will keep supporting this project.

WHEN WILL WE SEE THE RESULTS?

More than two years of fieldwork, as minimum, will be needed to start seeing results but we’ll still need some more years to have sound information. The study of natural processes requires time.

 

LOCAL PROJECT

The Black wheatear is a bird that lives in open and sunny spaces and its current distribution is restricted to a part of the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb. The Iberian population of Black wheater is estimated in between 4100 and 16000 couples and it’s decreasing. The nesting catalan population is estimated in 401-631 couples and the main populations of Catalonia are situated in south Lleida province and specially in Ebro lands. This species it’s in the Red List of the nesting birds of Catalonia with the “vulnerable” status.

The ornithological association Picampall has done some census to obtain data about the reproductive density of this species at Ebro lands and they think that it’s very important to keep doing census because the ones made this year have had relevant results. Some profits of this edition will be used to keep doing this studies.ink that it’s very important to keep doing census because the ones made this year have had relevant results. Some profits of this edition will be used to keep doing this studies.