Save the Montagu’s Harrier – Justification 2018

Our main conservation project and commitment for Montagu’s Harrier had a difficult year due the severe cold and wet spring of 2018. Planted crops suffered, spaces made suitable for breeding pairs suffered and hence the number of successful pairs was much reduced. It was an experience reflected throughout the region, many early breeding birds affected by lack of food and dry habitat to enable successful breeding. Our Montagu’s Harriers did manage to find alternative sites, but in reduced numbers and with varying success, it had been a frustrating year for all those volunteers involved with the project. Despite all the setbacks, the project enjoyed relative success, continued with their education project at local schools and furthered their working relationship with the regional environmental agencies. It is crucial we continue our support and along with all those involved, we hope for a more successful year during 2019.

Environmental Education And The Conservation Of The Montagu’s Harrier Through The Custody And Management Of Their Territory

1. Campaigns For Environmental Education And Dissemination

Education – Three days of environmental education are held

  • At the Cazalla observatory in the event “Welcome to migratory birds”, the students of the CEIP Virgen de la Luz de Tarifa attend
  • In the school CEIP Divina Pastora de Facinas. In these talks, the situation and problems of the Montagu’s Harrier are explained in a didactic way, specifying the idiosyncrasies of this bird in the area. It is intended for students of early childhood and primary education.
  • During the environmental education sessions. A training session and exhibition of results of previous campaigns in the Provincial Delegation of the Ministry of Environment in Cádiz.


  • Photographs of the species are offered as a gift to the most important collaborators of the campaign.
  • Assistance to the British BirdFair in Rutland, this is the fair with the highest influx of bird watching tourism worldwide, where an informative talk about our project is given.
  • This year the outreach effort has been made through social networks, mainly Facebook and Twitter in which our entity has about 1500 followers. 
In addition to the page of the association we have a specific page for this project.
  • Reviews and updates of our work are published
  • Several articles in “Birds of Andalucia”. The quarterley magazine of  The Andalucía Bird Society, one of our main sponsors.

2. Development Of Informative Material

A corporate image of the project is designed to better disseminate it. The design is used in all talks and communications, in the same way that it is used for the production of T-shirts and stickers.
A brochure is also prepared, in Spanish and English, to make the project more widely known, it is left in different information points and is taken to different events.
Creation of informative web of the project: (under construction)

3. Following Reproduction Of The Species – Censuses and conservation actions of the breeding population


This year the expectations of an improvement in the situation of the population of Montagu’s Eagles in La Janda, saw us start working hard since the end of March, going through all the known areas where the historical reproduction of the species is known. At first, when the birds were in the phase of locating optimal areas for reproduction, 3 pairs were repeatedly observed in the vicinity of the breeding area of 2017, actually on the plot managed by our association (planted with oats in the past December).
A nest site. Photo taken by a drone

This season, spring was one of the rainiest in history, affecting the life cycles of both the vegetation and the birds themselves. The oats did not reach a strong enough condition to be selected as the breeding area, which eventually caused the birds to leave to look for other more suitable plots. This action has facilitated the reproduction of the Little Bustard, an event that did not occur in the area for many years.

Days later we located the final breeding area, with 4 pairs. Three of them were located on public land and the fourth very close in a beet field. The location in a public area is a fact that had never occurred or at least in the last 15 years of monitoring the species.
The final result is that only one pair managed to reproduce successfully, where 4 young were raised. Human disturbance was the cause of failure, being a public place does not provide the peace of mind necessary to succeed.
Tests have been carried out with a Drone for the location and monitoring of nests.
Flying young and an aerial image during the marking of one of the nests were taken with a drone.

In conclusion we can say that the number of pairs in the area of Tahivilla in La Janda remains stable with the successful incorporation of wild birds born in the area in 2016 and 2017, thanks to the actions of purchasing crops made during these years.


This year we have extended our range of action to another area of La Janda collaborating with the Ministry of Environment in the Benalup countryside.
There we left standing about 1.5 hectares of cereal with three nests inside, one of them failed and the other two successfully raised 5 young. The cost of this action was € 600.
Purchase included a safe zone between the mown area and the respected breeding area in the Benalup plot i.e. nests and nestlings.

This action has a great social and environmental impact. Both the local population in the first place and the tourist population that seeks to enjoy our natural environment in second place will benefit from the presence of a species of this calibre. On a practical level, participation has been very important, with members of our association, collaborators, owners, farmers, educational centres, conservation sector, tourism sector, administration, etc.


Anilla Sexo Año nacimiento Lugar nacimiento Reproducción en la zona Pareja
L7L macho 2016 Vejer Presente durante el 2017 en Tahivilla sin reproducción 8W3
8W3 Hembra 2010 Tahivilla 2013-2014-2016-2017 L7L
HPF Macho 2016 Tahivilla Presente durante el 2017 en Tahivilla sin reproducción HRW
HRW Hembra 2017 Tahivilla HPF
7XJ Macho 2007 Tahivilla 2012-2014-2016-2017 Sin anilla


Concept Amount Budgeted Amount Spent
Fuel Costs €500   €926,38
Materials for Ringing  €134,27
Imformative and Educational Expenses €600 €1050,70
Feeding Captive Young €150
Purchase Costs of Crops to stop harvest €700 €600
Land Lease Costs €2.000 €2.000
Harvesting Costs €1.000
Sowing crop expenses  €409,20
Volunteers Insurance €120 €120
Miscellaneous Expenses €79,17
Total Expenses €5.070 euros  €5.319,72             

The Tumbabuey ringing group is part of the Tumbabuey Ornithological Group Association with CIF: G72234784, association number 10555 of the Andalusian Associations Registry of section 1 of this registry unit is attached to the Office of Migratory Species of the Ministry of Environment, Rural and Marine Environment with registration number: 960009, it is also a Collaborating Entity in matters of flora and fauna of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment in the Wildlife Management Section of the Andalusian Register of Harvesting of Flora and Fauna and Wildlife with registration number 12/2013 / EC / SSCC / SGFF / RAFFS

Miguel González – Project leader

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