As part of the LIFE-ZEPAURBAN project a specific action (C3) was defined to reinforce the urban ZEPA of San Vicente de Alcántara. This action was initiated in 2018 and was carried out by means of a captive breeding programme and a programme of releases in the enclave.
In 2020 the census recorded a total of 5 lesser kestrel pairs established in the urban ZEPA of San Vicente de Alcántara. A year later in 2021 a total of 12-13 established pairs were found.
This is a great success in the recovery of the colony of the ZEPA of San Vicente de Alcántara where this species had not been recorded for over 25 years.
In one of these pairs a female carrying ring XL1 was identified as having been born in the DEMA Lesser Kestrel Breeding Centre and released in 2018 in the ZEPA of San Vicente de Alcántara as part of the LIFE-ZEPAUBAN project. This female began to breed the following year in this same colony.
Apart from this register it is highly probable that there was another pair consisting of a female, also released by this project, and a male from the wild population although it was not possible to read the ring.
During the 2021 breeding season a female observed copulating was found to carry ring J0B; she was born at the Los Hornos Wildlife Recovery Centre and released in 2020 also in the San Vicente de Alcántara ZEPA during the LIFE-ZEPAURBAN project. Although it was not possible to confirm the nest she belonged to, the probability that she was a member of the 12-13 confirmed pairs is quite high.
Of the remaining pairs it was possible to confirm that 3 were made up of males and females from the wild population, which is also an achievement in itself of the LIFE-ZEPAURBAN project and the "Colony Environment" method, a release technique used in this project and developed by DEMA, a partner in the initiative. In this way birds from the wild population which were probably dispersing were attracted and this was encouraged by the colonial nature of this species.
One the LIFE-ZEPAURBAN project ends in 2022 with the objective of having achieved lasting results, the partners of the project are committed to continue the work carried out as Action C3.