Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways

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Migres Programme. Monitoring bird migration through Straits of Gibraltar

Study species: All migrants

Research topic: Migration

Institution location: International Centre for Bird Migration (CIMA), Cadiz

Project organiser: Alejandro Onrubia Baticón

Status: Active

Migres Programme is a long-term scientific monitoring of migratory birds population across the Strait of Gibraltar, which allows:

- to detect changes in migratory populations that can be related to the trends of these species at a global level, as indicators of their conservation status;

- to detect the changes in species migratory patterns;

- to try to understand the biological meaning of these changes in relation to the current scenario of global change.

Experts on ornithology and about 80-90 volunteers per year from twelve different countries are involved in Migres Programme. There are three different target groups within Migres Programme. On the one hand, migratory pelagic seabirds migrating between Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean and vice versa, respectively. On the other hand, soaring birds (birds of prey and storks) and small migrants (passerines and allies) migrating between Europe and Africa. The monitoring of those species allows detecting birds’ migratory patterns which may be affected by global change. Migres Foundation also works on projects related to wind farms and environmental measures. The ultimate goal of this projects is to reduce bird and bat mortality and try to compensate their impact through recovery programs and specific measures.

Migres Foundation is a private non-profit organization created in 2003 with the aim of monitoring bird migration through the Strait of Gibraltar as a tool for evaluating the effects of climate change, as well as developing and promoting activities aimed at the sustainable development.

The Foundation is promoted by private companies (mainly wind power producers), universities from south Spain (University of Seville and Cadiz), different regional governmental agencies (city councils, regional Ministry of Environment) as well as an international scientific committee specialised in migration patterns and applied Ecology (Professor Miguel Ferrer, National Council of Scientific Research in Spain; Professor Ian Newton, Natural Environment Research Council in UK; Professor Martin Wikelski, Max Plank Institute in Germany; Dr. Keith Bildstein, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary; Dr. Bruno Bruderer, Swiss Ornithological Institute).  

The activities developed by Migres Foundation are focused on the following topics:

- Natural heritage and biodiversity conservation

- Study, development and dissemination of knowledge and interest in nature

- Study of the effects of global warming on bird migration

- Development of solutions in the field of wind energy and its interactions with nature.

Migres Foundation is also involved in the organisation of scientific meetings (international and national workshops, congresses and fairs) and in the publication of reports and scientific research papers.