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The University of Valencia raises awareness in schools about the conservation of the Iberian-eastern reed bunting, an endangered bird

  • Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit
  • November 26th, 2021
Specimen of the Iberian-eastern reed bunting (<i>Emberiza schoeniclus witherbyi</i>). Photo: Iván Alambiaga Arévalo.
Specimen of the Iberian-eastern reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus witherbyi). Photo: Iván Alambiaga Arévalo.

The University of Valencia has initiated an awareness program for the conservation of the Iberian-eastern reed bunting, an endangered bird, in schools in the Valencian Community. The program foresees informative talks and field trips through the wetlands to publicise the actions within the reintroduction project of this bird. The project has the support of the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, the Valencian Government and the Government of the Balearic Islands.

Wetlands such as the Natural Parks (PN) of the Marjal de Pego-Oliva, the Prat de Cabanes, the Albufera de València, El Hondo; and the Almenara, de los Moros and Xeresa-Xeraco wetlands were the habitats occupied years ago by the Iberian-eastern reed bunting in the Valencian Community. Changes in agriculture in recent decades due to agrarian intensification and the degradation of their breeding areas have caused a decrease in the populations of pairs of between 43% and 56% compared to 2005 in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands.

The aim of the project “Ex situ conservation of the Iberian-eastern reed bunting: captive breeding and reintroduction in wetlands of the Natura 2000 Network” is to create an ex situ conservation program for this bird from wild individuals in order to obtain individuals born in captivity with which to carry out population reinforcement and reintroduction in different Valencian wetlands of the Natura 2000 Network.

Since the end of the 2020/2021 school year, part of the project team has been developing an awareness program in various schools in Tavernes de la Valldigna, Xeresa, Gandia, Oliva and Pego to publicise the actions that are developed within the project and highlight the richness that wetlands hide and the threats posed by these habitats, and in particular a species of endangered bird.

In this 2021/2022 academic year, the project team has resumed the awareness program. Until the end of December, informative talks and field trips will continue in the interested municipalities within the scope of the project to sensitise and educate students of the threats posed by the species and its wetlands closest to their schools.


Photo captions:
Awareness talks in an educational centre in a municipality adjacent to the project areas. Photo: Pau Lucio.
More information:
Ex situ conservation project of the Iberian-eastern reed bunting.