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UEA is collaborating with BirdLife International and Swarovski Optik to conserve Great Bustards in Spain and Portugal

Great BustardsResearchers from the School of Environmental Sciences have launched a new study focusing on Great Bustards in Spain and Portugal, working directly with local governments in Extremadura and Alentejo, as well as the conservationist group BirdLife International and University of Lisbon.

The Great Bustard is classified as Globally Vulnerable, and suffers from intensification of land-uses throughout its range. The research aims to provide evidence-based recommendations on how to improve land-use policies and thereby better protect both the Great Bustard and the steppe habitats it favours.

Swarovski Optik has generously contributed high-powered binoculars and telescopes to the research team to allow better identification of birds in the field.

Part of the research involves fieldwork in Extremadura and Alentejo that will contribute to better understanding of the conservation issues that threaten the Bustards, and identification of the sex and age-class of each individual bird is crucial for understanding demographic changes.

Yoav Perlman from the School of Environmental Sciences, leading researcher on the project, says: ‘Thanks to the supreme optic equipment supplied by Swarovski Optik I can see every feather on these secretive birds. I hope that this new information will contribute to the conservation of Great Bustards.’

Alentejo landscapeTake a look at Yoav’s blog to find out more, or follow him on twitter.

Photos: Above Great Bustard by Luis Venancio.  Right Alentejo landscape by Yoav Perlman. This work is being carried out in partnership with the University of Lisbon.