SEO/BirdLife is the BirdLife PartnerFounded in: 1954
Address: Melquiades Biencinto 34, ES-28053 Madrid, Spain
Mission of the organisation
SEO/BirdLife has been working on the conservation of birds and their habitats, since it was founded in 1954.
Implementation of Natura 2000 network in Spain. SEO/BirdLife has carried out an important lobbying effort with the central government to have all IBAs protected as Special Protected Areas (SPAs). Bearing in mind that in the whole country, 32% of the surface is an IBA, and in some regions, e.g. Extremadura, this figure comes up to 75%, it is easy to imagine how difficult it is to get the agreement of government on this. Despite this difficulty, after strong SEO/BirdLife work Spain has reached 40% of IBAS protected as SPAs.
A significant effort on public awareness in this SPA issue has been carried out at national and international level (through Europe) as SEO/BirdLife believes that for the real implementation of the Natura 2000 network, the acceptation of this legal status by people is a key element for its correct and full implementation.
In the field of monitoring, SEO/BirdLife works on essential bird data, which give a solid scientific basis to our conservation work on. One recent clear example is recently-published Atlas of Breeding Birds of Spain, which covers the whole country and all breeding species recorded. This work has taken 4 years of fieldwork, 2000 people in the field, and 1 year of writing and editing.
SEO/BirdLife has become increasingly active at an international level. Since 1998 SEO/BirdLife is implementing an International programme with 2 areas of work: North Africa and Latin America. At present, SEO/BirdLife activity is more intense in the North African region, Morocco in particular, where SEO/BirdLife is responsible for the BirdLife Country programme, and is carrying out different projects, mainly in wetlands with a permanent presence in the country.
Over recent years, the field of Environmental Education and Public awareness has been gaining more and more importance in SEO/BirdLife activity. Work with schools, local communities, and the general public are key activities for the organisation's success.
- Took an active role in rescuing chicks and eggs following the Coto Doñana disaster. Subsequently, SEO advice was widely sought over how best to restore the affected areas
- As part of a group of eight Spanish NGOs, established the Programa Antidoto, a campaign against illegal poisoning of raptors and other predators. This has already resulted in two-year jail sentences and fines of around US$5,800 for each of three people convicted of poisoning Bonelli's Eagles
- SEO’s Life Project on sustainable agriculture in the Ebro Delta IBA produced 50 tons of organic rice and 6 ha of wetlands were purchased. More than 85,000 visitors, over half of them schoolchildren, visited the education programme in the Aragon Natural Parks
- Following six years of campaigning (this project was supported in 1992 by money from the British Birdwatching Fair), succeeded in getting the Los Monegros IBA declared an SPA and the threat from a proposed large irrigation scheme lifted. The area holds the major European populations of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Dupont's Lark and Lesser Short-toed Lark
- Published a new Spanish IBA book covering 391 IBA's (16 million ha, 32% of Spain's surface), including a third of them of global importance. More than 400 ornithologists co-operated in the project, which was sponsored by the Iberdrola company
- Carried out the third national census of Eurasian Griffons. 460 volunteers counted 17,000 pairs: more than double the count from ten years earlier and confirming the spectacular recovery made by the species in Spain