The LIFE Bonelli eastMed Project (LIFE17 NAT/GR/000514 - Conservation & Management of the Bonelli's eagle population in east Mediterranean) will address the most critical threats to Bonelli’s eagle populations in Greece and Cyprus. The overall objective is to ensure the long-term favourable conservation status for the species’ interconnected local populations, through the establishment and operation of the East Mediterranean Bonelli’s Eagle Network (EMBoNet). The project started on September 2018 and will finish in February 2023.
The project is implemented by the Natural Museum of Crete - University of Crete, the Game and Fauna Service (Game Fund) - Cyprus, the Hellenic Ornithological Society/BirdLife Greece, the Ministry of Environment & Energy - Greece, the Department of Forests - Cyprus and the NCC Environmental Studies Ltd with the financial contribution of the LIFE instrument of the EE. The project is co-financed by the Green Fund and the A.G. Leventis Foundation. The pilot areas include twenty two (22) NATURA 2000 sites (SPAs) in Greece (Crete, Peloponnese, Attica) & Cyprus.
- Filling current knowledge gaps, especially the lack of telemetry data that prevents a spatial assessment of mortality and population dynamics
- Reducing direct mortality inside breeding areas in NATURA 2000 sites (SPAs) in Greece and Cyprus
- Improving the species’ reproduction success by foraging habitat management and reducing human disturbance
- Improving the technical and operational capacity of nature authorities and other stakeholders, so that they can more effectively manage the species’ populations
- Improving the awareness of stakeholders and specific target groups for the sustainable conservation of the species
- Planning and implementing an effective transferability and replicability strategy for EMBoNet
The main actions of the project include:
- Extensive scientific research on the distribution of the species, which will be accompanied by the most ambitious telemetry program for the species in the region (> 100 transmitters).
- Training of the staff of the involved services/authorities and relevant bodies.
- Actions to reduce nuisance in the nesting areas of the species (e.g. outdoor activities/sports).
- Increasing the availability of prey in the breeding areas through the sowing of abandoned fields, the construction of watering ponds, the creation of openings in forests and the regulation of hunting activities and dog training activities.
- Reduction of mortality in breeding and dispersal areas, through the installation of insulators and buoys on power lines, the installation of diversion prevention mechanisms in water tanks, the prevention of poisoning by using canine teams in the detection of poisons, the operation of feeders and cooperation with health centers.
- Sensitivity mapping and the creation of a Good Practice and Spatial Planning Tool
- Guide on the installation of power transmission lines and wind farms.
- Creation and operation of the Eastern Mediterranean Network for the Bonelli’s eagle (EMBONET).
- Extensive campaign to inform and raise awareness about the species, through events, production of environmental education package, album and photo exhibition, as well as printed and audiovisual material.