THE regional government’s decision to allow hunting when endangered eagles were nesting was described as an attack.
The Sociedad Valencian de Ornitologia warned that the permit to hunt in the Hoces del Cabriel affected a special protection area for wild birds during the breeding season for Bonelli’s eagles.
This interrupted their life cycle, explained Victor Paris, the SVO’s president, as the pair of eagles had lived in the area since 2009 but without producing offspring.
He had nothing against hunting, Paris stressed, but it should comply with regulations. The eagles have now abandoned the nest due to the Hoces del Cabriel hunters, he said.
Bonelli’s eagles are emblematic of the Valencian Community countryside, which was once the habitat of one the most numerous populations in Europe but they have suffered “alarming setbacks” in recent decades, Paris said.
Some are electrocuted by high tension cables, others drown in irrigation water deposits but many are killed by trophy-hunting poachers.
This was not an isolated incident, the SVO said, as a similar case was detected some weeks ago in the Font Roja national park near Alcoy. The Bonelli’s eagles episode was “just the tip of the iceberg” of the results of the regional government’s hunting policies, Paris claimed.
Bonelli’s eagles are considered endangered in Europe, with just over 1,000 pairs remaining, of which over 700 reside in Spain.