The Rufous-tailed Bird of the Year 2022 by SEO/BirdLife

The alzacola rojizo has been proclaimed bird of the year 2022 in the citizen vote organized by SEO/BirdLife, which has cataloged “endangered” this migratory species present in Andalusia, Extremadura, Murcia and Valencian Community and closely related to vineyards, olivares Y fruit trees dry land

The other two contenders for the title were the aguilucho cenizo and the common shrike, according to the conservation organization, which has underlined that the three are associated with agricultural environments and present an alarming decline in their populations due to the loss of natural elements, the widespread use of pesticides and earlier harvests.

Specimen of reddish gaztail. (Quique Marcelo/SEO Birdlife)

Since 1998, SEO/BirdLife chooses by popular vote the bird that will focus the annual campaign that seeks to draw attention to endangered species and improve its preservation.

According to the last national census of Rufous-tailed Griffon, carried out in 2020 by SEO/BirdLife, the National Working Group of the Reddish Alzacola and the University of Alicante, his population is around 17,300 individuals —mainly in western Andalusia (71%) and Extremadura (27%)— and would have decreased by 94.8%.

The threat that more generally affects the populations of alzacola in Spain is related to the intensification of crops, which implies the change from rainfed to irrigated land, greater use of plant protection products, more mechanized work and frequent, and reduction of herbaceous cover.

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In addition, land consolidation entails the loss of the traditional mosaic of crops and a homogenization of the landscape with the reduction of borders and planted vegetation.

To favor the Rufous Tailed Bird, SEO/BirdLife will demand that the aid and measures of the new CAP incorporate the requirements of this species; will develop demonstration projects to value its conservation and will monitor its population in key areas, among other actions.

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