Conservation Projects

The Society and our members are a formidable team.
Together we are making a difference by our ‘Caring for Nature’ efforts.
Together we are supporting local conservation at grassroots level.
Together by being a part of the Society you are directly contributing to assisting and improving our regional wildlife.
Together we should feel proud of our association with giving our nature a helping hand.
Together we are ‘Caring for Nature’, why not join us?

The more members we have, the more we are able to support regional conservation projects in Andalucía. Size of membership dictates the annual surplus in our budget and how much is available to be dedicated to chosen projects.

Joining ABS and encouraging others to join will help us play an increasingly important role in the regional funding of projects.

Meet our Conservation officer – Neil A. Hill

Neil A Hill – ABS Conservation Officer

I am a professional wildlife biologist with many years experience working in statutory nature conservation in the UK and Europe, for NGO’s and as an independent advisor on nature conservation to academic bodies and relevant Directorates of the European Union, i.e. DG Environment and DG Agriculture.

Starting out as a conservation officer for what was The Nature Conservancy Council in the UK I moved through a number of posts until I became head of conservation for The New Forest (an important lowland National Park in southern England). Following this I ran a number of scientific projects looking to recreate habitats on a landscape scale in Europe. Latterly I managed a five country multi-partner Interreg 111b project entitled ‘Lifescapes your Landscape’ Then, with the University of Leiden I set up the Rural European Platform to continue the innovation work marrying agriculture, conservation and social needs. This in turn led to me becoming

a conservation advisor to a number of species based projects, notably the Iberian Lynx here in Spain and Portugal. This species based work was integrated into my passion of and belief in the importance landscape scale conservation, something that has latterly become ‘trendy’ under the popular catchall of rewilding.

Back in the UK I became Director and later Chairman of the Environmental Transport Association concurrently with this.

Just over ten years ago I decided to leave the fields of policy work, academia and professional nature conservation in favour of a more direct and experiential approach to our natural world – that of how to re-introduce humans themselves back into the wild. This is something that I continue with to this day.

Now a new chapter opens as I start to bring to bear some of this experience with a variety of conservation projects here in Andalucía.

Our criteria to accept a conservation project

Certain criteria we require in order for us to consider any particular application for funding. These are necessary to safeguard our funding and to ensure any project is worthwhile and long-term. We also require constant updates to any project’s current progress and specific information on how the Society’s funding is being used.

Some of the criteria we use to assess conservation projects are:

  • A demonstrable history and past results
  • Current activity and details of those activities
  • A future strategy and aims for the project
  • How the project is managed i.e. person/s responsible, volunteers etc.
  • Allow access and if possible, participation by ABS Members

Projects we are sponsoring at the moment

Currently we are sponsoring 3  projects:

  • Save Our Swifts (by fundraising)
  • Save the Montagu’s Harrier (by donation)
  • Conserving the Barn Owl (by donation)
Save Our Swifts
During 2021 against wind and Covid-19, the SGHN was very happy to present a new bird conservation project. The name, Proyecto Vencejos, being “vencejos” the Spanish word for swifts, is a volunteer program aimed at the active protection of swifts ...
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ABS are proud to be supporting ‘Proyecto Vencejos’ which aims to support the recuperation of stranded swift species and also provide nest boxes to assist in restoring lost nesting sites throughout Cadiz Province. It is an immensely important work as ...
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Save the Montagu’s Harrier 
The beautiful Montagu’s harrier is an emblematic bird of warm open spaces like extensive grassland, heath and steppe. Like many species associated with this habitat its population is declining. In Western Europe around 70% of the breeding population relies on ...
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The population of Montagu’s harriers in Tarifa, close to Tahivilla, may be one of the best-studied and informative populations in all of Europe. Since 2004 the members of the Tumbabuey ornithological group have been working hard in the conservation and ...
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As April and May draw near, farmers in La Janda and the surrounding Tarifa countryside set about making the necessary preparations to mow their hay or pastures, they do this whilst still green in order for the crops to be ...
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This species conservation campaign during 2020 has been marked by the dire consequences of COVID-19 and its restrictions. At the end of March, the new confinement situation forced us to think about alternatives to continue working on the recovery of ...
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/ Save the Montagu's Harrier
MONTAGU’S HARRIER CONSERVATION PROJECT - La Janda Area On a very hot day, 25 members came together for our first field meeting since lockdown, and we were treated to a very special sight, but more of that later. We met ...
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From the environmental failure in the conservation of the Montagu’s Harrier to the successful crossing of the Sahara. The current model of conservation for the Montagu’s Harrier in Andalucía entails a high number of failures during the breeding season. A ...
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/ Save the Montagu's Harrier
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 ...
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/ Save the Montagu's Harrier
It is pleasing to present the latest news update on our Montagu’s Harrier project. As you will read, the project has expanded to include an area near to Benalup in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment. The project has ...
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It is rewarding to realise, that with increased membership, we are now able to contribute significantly to regional conservation projects. More members mean more funds for conservation, so we hope each member will encourage others to join our Society. Last ...
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The Montagu’s Harrier is well known as a familiar medium-sized raptor to be seen quartering the plains for prey and one that, not too long ago, was abundant throughout Cadiz. Its population has declined at an alarming rate, disappearing entirely ...
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/ Save the Montagu's Harrier
Conserving the Barn Owl
During 2020 a new hacking campaign could not be carried out in the Sierras Subbéticas due to bureaucratic problems, attributed to COVID-19 and other causes that, as it is said in el Quijote, “... whose name I do not want to ...
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The origin: a bit of history I remember as a child when my teacher appeared with two young owls that fell into an interior patio. Before putting them back in their nest to my surprise he brought them to class ...
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/ Conserving the Barn Owl
There are many species of birds that are overlooked in the Iberian Peninsula. Often only those with striking plumage or melodious song seem to attract attention. Well, game species also attract great interest from the hunters! Today this is even ...
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/ Conserving the Barn Owl
The Barn Owl Project Certainly across most of Europe this species is struggling to cope with changing agricultural practices and the vulnerability it has from a consequence of taking to hunting roadside margins for voles and other small mammals. Throughout ...
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Sources for Life Project
As mentioned in a previous article in our ABS Magazine, the project “Restoring water points, creating sources of life” is a conservation project for fauna in general, particularly amphibian wildlife, whose scope of action is within the boundaries of the ...
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/ Sources for Life
As we have explained in a previous article, the project "Restoring water points, creating "Sources for Life" is a conservation project for fauna in general, particularly amphibian wildlife, whose scope of action is Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. In that ...
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/ Sources for Life
Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park is an authentic hot spot for biodiversity despite its small size. As an interesting fact, its surface corresponds to only 0.6 percent of the total area of Andalucía. However, in this small natural park, you ...
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/ Sources for Life
La Covache Project
Step by step, but not as fast as we would like, SALARTE keeps working to recover Trocadero Island. Working in a marshland that the responsible authorities ignore, every week we are challenged by new obstacles which have to be overcome ...
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/ La Covache
Since February 2016, which finalised Salarte’s period of management of Isla la Covacha, the members of this NGO [non governmental organisation] have not ceased to look for alliances for the reconstruction of the sluice gates and boundary walls damaged in ...
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/ La Covache
Approximately 2.500 years ago, when humans discovered that they could transform the marshland, they learnt to use the tides towards their benefit, such as producing marine salt and estuary fish. Thus, they were unknowingly providing optimum conditions for the environment ...
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/ La Covache
The Andalucia Bird Society are proud to have officially adopted the ‘Covacha’ as its conservation project. It is an exciting project and here Juan Martín Bermúdez explains in depth the objects and history to the conservation value to this reclamation ...
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/ La Covache