Actions Progress

First year of the project

Field work was carried out to estimate the total breeding population and the distribution of the Lesser Kestrel in Thessaly as well as the potential foraging and dispersal areas of the species. Data were collected in more than 110 villages during the breeding period of 2013.

Information gathered about the prey and habitat availability through implementation of the following: a) Radiotelemetry and Gps dataloggers, b) Ringing, c) Nest monitoring, d) Habitat selection, e) Prey availability assessment, and f) Pellet analysis.

The Local Volunteer Team was established in the project implementation area.

A restoration plan was prepared for agroecosystems which serve as foraging habitat for the species in both field and landscape scale.

A broad local awareness campaign has been designed and implemented for the local population.

On 21st and 22nd of January 2013 an international workshop concerning the Lesser Kestrel conservation was held in Volos in the framework of project actions.The purpose of the meeting was exchanging information and experience between experts from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Bulgaria who have worked on issues related to the ecology and conservation of the Lesser Kestrel and networking with organizations and other European programs on Lesser Kestrel conservation in Europe.

The project poster and the first project leaflet were produced.

The project website and the project page on Facebook were developed and operated. 

 

Second year of the project

A comprehensive Regional Species Action Plan was elaborated, incorporating the prescriptions and conclusions of the project preparatory actions. The plan includes colony specific action plans to guide the implementation of the project actions and provide a concrete planning basis for the long term conservation of the species in the region. 

The Management Plan for the wet meadows of Lake Karla and the rangeland of the Municipality of Rigas Feraios was prepared.

The draft of the manual for improving the Lesser Kestrel nesting habitat was conducted.

On February 2014, the establishment of artificial nests started in the villages of Thessaly. The action will be continued during the next years.

The regional “Lesser Kestrel patrolling team” was established, for patrolling at the colony sites – informing building owners hosting species nests, and for improving nesting site quality and nestling survival.

The researchers of the project installed transmitters to Lesser Kestrels and ringed young and adult species.

Census was carried out in 162 settlements of Thessaly Plain from the researchers of the project with the collaboration of the volunteers. Iterative surveys were carried out for assessing the stability of the population.

Trees and shrubs were planting establishing hedgerows in selected sites inside the demonstration area of the project.

Fields were cultivated with Greek cultivars of barley (140 ha). Unharvest barley strips were left during harvesting.

During three periods (before, during and after the breeding period of the species): a) prey availability in different crop types was estimated by using pitfall traps for arthropods and line transects, b) foraging sites were identified and c) pellets were collected and analyzed.

Environmental Education Material was produced and distributed at the project area schools.  

 

Third year of the project

Two few minutes video clips of the program were prepared.

Τhe exhibition for the Lesser Kestrel was established at the Karla Information Center in Kanalia.

The ornithologists of the project for the second consecutive year installed artificial nests in the villages of Thessaly.

The researchers of the project installed transmitters to Lesser Kestrels and ringed young and adult species.

Fields were cultivated with Greek cultivars of barley (175 ha). Unharvest barley strips were left during harvesting.

Trees and shrubs were planting establishing hedgerows in selected sites inside the demonstration area of the project.

The estimation of a) prey availability in different crop types using pitfall traps for arthropods and line transects, b) foraging selection and pellet collecting, during three periods (before, during and after the breeding period of the species), is ongoing.

Fenced plots approximately 0.1 ha each were installed at the wet meadows, which will be used for the demonstration of the potential production of meadow vegetation.

The establishment of perennial meadows (32 ha) for agricultural fields connected to rangelands of Municipality of Rigas Feraios (hilly areas) was initiated.

The Environmental Education material for the Lesser Kestrel was implemented by school classes of the project area.

 

Fourth year of the project

The project second and third project leaflets were produced.

The documentary of the program was prepared.

The Manual for improving the Lesser Kestrel nesting habitats and the Good Practice Guide for Farmers were produced.

Τhe exhibition for the Lesser Kestrel  for the second consecutive year was operated in the Karla Information Center in Kanalia.

The ornithologists of the project for the third consecutive year installed artificial nests and nest complexes in the villages of Thessaly.

The Lesser Kestrel population census was continued in 2016 in representative settlements of Thessaly plain. The population census was expanded in all known colonies in Greece.

The researchers of the project installed transmitters to Lesser Kestrels and ringed young and adult species. Furthermore, the habitat selection of the Lesser Kestrel was recorded focusing on the grass-legume meadows established at the hilly areas of the project.

Trees and shrubs were planting establishing hedgerows in selected sites inside the demonstration area of the project.

Fields were cultivated with Greek cultivars of barley (180 ha). Unharvest barley strips were left during harvesting.

The University of Thessaly, in the framework of the LIFE project, is about to grant the farmers that applied specific barley cultivation practices, a “Lesser Kestrel friendly” certification. The certification also involves livestock products and fodder.

More than 150 questionnaires were distributed, exploring the opinions and attitudes of local population after the completion of the project conservation actions implemented in the villages of the project area.

The implementation of the Environmental Education material for the Lesser Kestrel to the school classes of the project area was continued.

 

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The Project is implemented by the University of Thessaly, in collaboration with the Municipality of Rigas Ferraios, the Management Body of the Eco-development Area of Lake Karla-Mavrovouniou-Kefalovrysou-Velestinou, the Hellenic Ornithological Society and the NCC Ltd, with the financial support of the European Commission

Coordinating beneficiary

Associated beneficiaries

Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλίας - Εργαστήριο Διαχείρισης Οικοσυστημάτων και Βιοποικιλότητας Δήμος Ρήγα ΦεραίουΦορέας Διαχείρισης Περιοχής Οικοανάπτυξης Κάρλας - Μαυροβουνίου - Κεφαλοβρύσου - ΒελεστίνουΕλληνική Ορνιθολογική ΕταιρείαNature Conservation Consultants