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Help for the eagles

Working to help the Bonelli Eagle survive in Mallorca.

Since 2011 there's been an ongoing programme in Mallorca to reintroduce the Bonelli Eagle and help it to survive and breed. A fair amount of success has been achieved so far and the first chicks were born to a breeding pair of birds in 2014!

However the success has been tempered with the death of some of the birds by electrocution by flying into the high voltage power lines which cross the Mallorcan countryside. Of the 30 birds which have been released on the island, 19 now survive but six met their end on the power lines.

bonelli eagle

How do we know this? Well the birds are all carefully monitored using little tracking devices which can be followed by satellite or mobile phone so that the people involved in the 'Life Bonelli' project all over Spain know exactly what is happening to the birds.

Apparently, electrocution is the biggest cause of non-natural death amongst birds of prey, so the eagles are never released in areas where there are power lines. However, the birds travel far and wide – some have been tracked to the Straits of Gibraltar – so sometimes they fly into dangerous areas.

Here in Mallorca environmental agencies, the Island Council and the electricity company have got together to implement changes to the power supply system which will help not only the Bonelli Eagle but other birds of prey like the Booted Eagle and Red Kite avoid untimely deaths.

A map has been drawn up of the eagles' 'red zones' so that Elecnor, the electricity company, can hopefully make corrections to help the birds survive.

You can read more about the Life Bonelli project all over Spain on their Facebook page.