The conservation status within the project area

The Eleonora’s falcon is the best studied species in the Aegean Sea, especially in the southern colonies thanks to the efforts of Dr. D. Ristow and his colleagues, HOS and the Natural History Museum of Crete, who have carried out systematic and continuous surveys and monitoring since the early 1960s providing a wealth of information on the species’ biology and breeding in its southern colonies. In addition, the recent global population census carried out across the species’ breeding range, which was implemented within the framework of the LIFE Nature project “Conservation measures for Falco eleonorae in Greece” (LIFE03 NAT/GR/000091), has furnished, on one hand, important spatial information on the location of the species’ breeding colonies, and, on the other hand, adequate information to extract valid conclusions on the species’ status.

Thus, according to this first systematic global population census, the population status in Greece and other Mediterranean countries is considered to be stable. Yet, the same data indicate a northward shift of local populations in the Aegean Sea (LIFE03 NAT/GR/000091) that fits future simulations of the species’ range under climatic change scenarios.

Although the species is classified by the IUCN as “Least Concern”, it is included in Annex I of the Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds, in Annex II of the Bern Convention and belongs to the category “SPEC 2” of BirdLife International, which means that is a “species with an unfavourable European conservation status, and with more than half of the global breeding or wintering population concentrated in Europe”.