‘Life Rupis’ is a conservation project, which takes place on the Portuguese-Spanish border, in the rocky promontories and cliffs of the Douro River from Miranda do Douro/Villadepera to Freixo-de-Espada-à-Cinta/Vilvestre, and from there to Barca d’Alva/San Martín, as well as south towards the Valley of Águeda River, areas the birds of the project inhabit.
The project aims mainly to strengthen the populations of Egyptian Vulture and Bonelli’s Eagle in these areas, by reducing mortality and improving breeding success. The populations of these target-species are declining in Portugal, Spain and throughout the Europe, led by a decline in the breeding success and a rise in the adult mortality rate due several factors linked to habitat quality, disturbance and human persecution.
Portuguese and Spanish populations of the Egyptian Vulture declined by 50% over the last 40 years, putting it in the list of Endangered species. Bonelli’s Eagle is also in danger in both countries, with a decrease in northern Portugal of about 40% in the past 10 years.
Although it’s the Egyptian Vulture and the Bonelli’s Eagle the main species under protection by this project, other can benefit from it, with the Black Vulture and the Red Kite being the species standing out.
The main actions put in place to protect the species above mentioned include monitoring illegal poisoning; correction of power lines; artificial or supplementary feeding; land purchase; promoting local products; environmental education; launching scientific information produced by the project; build, at the end of the project, plans and good practices manuals.
You can learn more about the ‘Life Rupis’ project, and how you can help, in their website, here.
Photo: Egyptian Vulture © José Viana