The LIFE Cerceta Pardilla project, coordinated by the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), has organized a seminar to exchange experiences and training with experts in this species and in the conservation of wetlands, an essential habitat for the survival of the Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris).
During this seminar, held in Seville, the main actions of the project were presented, the current knowledge of the species was updated and the priority measures for its conservation were debated.
The seminar, organized with the collaboration of the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development of the Regional Government of Andalusia, a partner in the project, was attended by more than 50 experts in the field of science and management of the species, as well as other participants related to the conservation of wetlands and other endangered ducks.
EXCHANGE OF EXPERIENCES
Specifically, specialists in marbled duck from the Junta de Andalucía, the Miguel Hernández University and the Doñana-CSIC Biological Station have addressed the ecology and use of their habitat, have presented the results of the monitoring of GPS-tagged specimens and have delved into the proper management of wetlands to favor the species.
The conference also served as a meeting point to learn about other projects linked to the marbled teal and wetlands and to highlight the possible synergies and links between them. Representatives of LIFE Marbled Duck, coordinated by the German foundation Stiftung Pro Artenvielfalt, which aims to recover the marbled teal in Sicily (Italy), and LIFE Paludícola, of the Global Nature Foundation, for the recovery of the Aquatic Warbler, participated in the event. For its part, WWF has presented its restoration work in the Trebujena lagoon (Cádiz), while the Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha has explained the effect that the restoration of the Alcázar de San Juan lagoons (Ciudad Real) has had on this species.
FIRST MEETING OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
After this day of exchange of experiences, the project has also held the first meeting of its advisory committee, a technical and scientific consultative body whose function is to inform and advise the project and evaluate specific technical and socio-economic aspects of its implementation. The advisory committee is made up of people from different sectors, such as irrigators, livestock farmers, aquaculturists, hunters, administrations, NGOs, experts in land stewardship and researchers.
On this occasion, the objective is twofold. On the one hand, to share the status of the project and discuss how it should approach different aspects of habitat and land management. Secondly, the committee analyses and makes recommendations for improvement on the protocols drawn up in relation to the ex-situ conservation programme, releases for the conservation of marbled teal and the operation of the species’ breeding centres, which will be presented to the collegiate bodies of inter-administrative coordination for their official approval.
RESEARCH, CONSERVATION AND GOVERNANCE
The LIFE Cerceta Pardilla project aims to improve the conservation status of 3,000 hectares of wetlands to reverse the risk of extinction of Europe’s most endangered duck, which is in a critical situation in Spain.
The project, which is coordinated by the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, involves as partners the Ministry itself, through the Segura Hydrographic Confederation and Tragsatec; the Regional Government of Andalusia, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Environment and Water Agency; the Generalitat Valenciana; the Government of the Region of Murcia, as well as the organisations SEO/BirdLife and ANSE. It is supported by the LIFE Programme of the European Union and the Directorate General for Water.