MARBLED TEALS, Europe’s most threatened waterbird, laid eggs this year in the El Hondo national park.
Twenty-four of Spain’s 40 breeding pairs of marbled teal spend the summer and autumn in El Hondo which is taking part in the EU’s LIFE recovery programme that began this year and continues until 2025.
More than 200 marbled teals bred in captivity were released in 2021 to increase their numbers in vital areas like the El Hondo wetlands, said Vicent Sansano, president of the park’s board of governors.
Sansano also explained that the LIFE programme hopes to reach agreements with property owners, hunters and agricultural growers to protect the teals’ habitats.
Lack of water in summer, hunting, foxes, dogs and cats are further threats to the marbled ducks which are currently preparing to migrate to Africa before returning in the spring.