Saving a threatened species

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Saving a threatened species
MARBLED TEAL: 24 of Spain’s 40 breeding pairs live in El Hondo national park Photo credit: Jason Thompson

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.

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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.


Linda came to Spain to live when she was 24, just over 52 years ago, and her husband is Spanish. She began writing for English-language local newspapers in the mid-1970s and hasn’t stopped since! She leads a Spanish life, which she believes is vital when conveying the news to English-speaking residents, and along the way she produced two editions of Expand Your Spanish, helping English-speakers to enlarge their knowledge of the language. She was excited to be in at the birth of the Euro Weekly News in 1999 and is still passionately writing for the paper 22 years later.

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