Until February 15, 2020, works were carried out on different buildings in the network of urban SPAs in Extremadura where lesser kestrel colonies were located. Thus, works were carried out at the Mirabel Palace of the Plasencia SPA, Santa María Church of the Brozas SPA, Santa María Church at the Garrovillas de Alconétar SPA, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria Church at the Zafra SPA, and San Fulgencio Church at the Acedera SPA, as well as at the silos in the Trujillo SPA and the La Visitación Convent in Puebla de Alcocer.
Under Action D1 for the monitoring of the LIFE-ZEPAURBAN Project, a protocol for monitoring said colonies was planned to verify the effectiveness of the different improvements made to the nesting sites.
In recent weeks, once mobility between provinces was possible in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions, technicians from the LIFE Project of the General Directorate of Sustainability have been carrying out this work.
The results obtained indicate that, generally speaking, the new nesting sites offered have had good acceptance by the lesser kestrel. This is the case of Puebla de Alcocer, Acedera, and Zafra, where the new nesting boxes and putlog holes have been occupied and the proper development of reproduction has been verified. However, in other cases, such as the case of the two Santa María Churches in Brozas and Garrovillas, occupation has not been verified. It is worth remembering the dramatic situation in which the species currently finds itself, with a decrease of its population by more than 60% over 10 years -- something which logically makes it difficult to occupy new nesting places.
However, the results obtained with the monitoring carried out indicate that we are on the right track. The work protocols that the General Directorate of Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Heritage and the General Directorate of Sustainability are preparing have shown that it is possible to reconcile the restoration of properties with a heritage value and the presence of a threatened species such as the lesser kestrel.