Project Countdown 2010

Zaragoza, 12 August 2009.

The Spanish Committee of the IUCN and the FCQ sign the agreement of cooperation between both entities which is part of the Project Countdown 2010 and will run until June next year. This project, coordinated by the Spanish Committee of the IUCN, thanks to the collaboration of Obra Social Caja Madrid, is to act on five points within the Spanish geography with activities contributing to the preservation of biodiversity in our country. Countdown 2010, is a network of active members working on global scale to stem the loss of biodiversity by 2010. Within this network, each member agrees to undertake actions to address the various causes of the continuing loss of species. Responding to the challenge, the Spanish Committee of the IUCN supported by Obra Social Caja Madrid in 2008 launched a first project now taken up in this year 2009, with five activities in the field in different parts of Spain. The FCQ in particular will launch the project “maintenance and monitoring of a supplementary feeding point for the Bearded vulture” supporting the ground for this species included in the National Catalog of Endangered Species (CNEA), which corresponds to one of the main priorities aimed at by Countdown 2010: preservation of Iberian diversity. The Spanish Committee of the IUCN, an organisation that coordinates these activities and whose primary objective is the preservation of natural heritage and biodiversity, acting as a platform for meeting and debate between government and nongovernmental organisations responsible for or involved in nature conservation in Spain, will use the potential of five of its members to carry out and thereby contribute to the 2010 target. Such entities will be the Foundation CRAM and Mediterrania-CIE of Catalonia, the Foundation Nature and Man of Cantabria, the FCQ of Aragon and Aula del Mar of Malaga. Obra Social Caja Madrid has a strong commitment to nature and environment in response to the degradation of our natural environment and its biodiversity and to increasing social awareness towards the problems it causes. For years, Obra Social Caja Madrid has been supporting projects that help reduce the loss of biodiversity through actions aimed at protecting species and ecosystems as well as the restoration of areas degraded by human action. The action which the FCQ will develop in the Aragonese Pyrenees within the initiative of the “Maintenance and monitoring of the Bearded vulture” is to take three measures to increase both the survival of pre-adult an adult Bearded vultures, and to improve the productivity of this threatened species listed as “Endangered”. One of the activities will be the supply of food with surplus remains of human consumption at the supplementary feeding point and monitoring the Bearded vulture with twice-weekly visits to check its use by necrophagous raptors and Bearde vultures in particular. Special monitoring is done of the Bearded vultures bearing identifying wing marks and rings, as the information is collected of the Bearded vultures and other marked raptors in a database updated and searchable on http://www.quebrantahuesos.org. Simultaneously maintenance will take place of the feeding point to effectively prevent the entry of terrestrial predators such as foxes and wild boar, which consume the food brought there. Finally in the month of May an special effort will be made of cleaning the feeding point from the growth of grass and bushes for which volunteer participation is planned with a participatory act on 22 May 2010, World Biodiversity Day.

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