Awareness | Workshops |
Workshop Steppe Birds Pathologies
Pathology, treatment and recovery of Great Bustard, Little Bustard and Lesser Kestrel
Project LIFE Estepárias Background

Project LIFE Estepárias (Conservation of the Great Bustard, Little Bustard and Lesser Kestrel in the Baixo Alentejo cereal steppe) intends to promote the conservation of the Great Bustard, Little Bustard and Lesser Kestrel in their main areas of occurrence in Portugal, in a long-term conservation perspective.  
The three species targeted in this project are steppe birds in need of urgent conservation measures, highly vulnerable to the changes in farming practices which, in the recent past, caused the loss and fragmentation of their habitat. This is one of the main factors that contributed for the unfavorable conservation status that they have on National, European and Global levels.
However, the changes in agriculture are not the only threats these birds are facing. The threats to their conservation include afforestation of farming lands, abandonment of the rural environment, collision with power lines and fences, electrocution on power poles, fragmentation of the populations caused by fencing and roads, disturbance, predation and climate change.
Due to the changes suffered by farming practices during the second half of the 20th century, the populations of steppe birds suffered a drastic decrease, having vanished from several countries or occurring only in very restricted areas.
The Portuguese populations of these species were no exception. Due to the disappearance of extensive dry farming systems in which cereal crops rotating with fallow lands and pastures were replaced by intensive irrigated crops, olive plantations, vineyards or forest, the Portuguese populations of these three species are now almost restricted to a few areas in the Alentejo region.     
Furthermore the main breeding grounds are restricted to the Castro Verde Special Protection Area (SPA), where more than 80% of the Great Bustard population, 70% of the Lesser Kestrel population and 50% of the Little Bustard population occur.
Project LIFE Estepárias aims to minimize some of the threats to the conservation of the Great Bustard, Little Bustard and Lesser Kestrel in 4 Baixo Alentejo SPAs with pseudo-steppe habitat, in order to ensure the long-term conservation of these species and contribute for the management of Natura 2000.  
Workshop goal
This Workshop aims at promoting knowledge exchange on the main diagnosed pathologies of Great Bustard, Little Bustard and Lesser Kestrel individuals, as well as handling and treatment techniques of these birds in Wildlife Recovery Centres. The Workshop will also be an important contribution for capacitating project technicians, in the framework of some field actions.
Great Bustards and Little Bustards are very sensible to handling and knowledge on the best practices of treatment and recovery of these two species is not disseminated enough. As for the Lesser Kestrel, LPN has already obtained knowledge, acquired through the LIFE- Nature Project “Reestablishment of the Lesser Kestrel in Portugal”, which allowed CARAS to specialize in the treatment and recovery of this species. However, some pathologies were identified but treatment remains unknown, which require debate between technicians involved in this species conservation to enhance mutual learning. The exchange of expertise promoted by this Action will improve knowledge, mutual learning and networking on treatment and recovery techniques of the 3 target species and hence contribute for the decrease of their mortality.
Destination Public
The Workshop is destined to biologists, veterinarians and technicians of wild animal’s recovery.

Date: February 15th and 16th of 2012Castro Verde
Place: Fórum Municipal - Castro Verde, Portugal
Panels: Otididae and Falconidae
Mandatory Free subscriptions (until February 5th 2012) in:
  • Registration form Here
  • Provisory Programme Here
For more information contact us:
Phone: +351 286 328 309
Fax: + 351 286 328 316
Mobile: + 351 925 068 990