The Association of Professional Bird and Nature Guides of Extremadura (GUIDEX) has expressed its concern over the alarming decline shown by several species associated with the arable plains and steppic habitats in Extremadura. This bird community forms one of the key pillars that attract birders to Extremadura.
Species that are particularly showing this drop in numbers include the Little Bustard, Montagu’s Harrier and Lesser Kestrel. However, there are others too which are declining, such as Little Owl, Eurasian Roller, Great Spotted Cuckoo and Iberian Grey Shrike.
The Association of Professional Bird and Nature Guides of Extremadura notes that amongst these typical steppic species are some which are key attractions for visiting birders to Extremadura, one of Europe’s top birding destinations.
This decline does not only represent a loss of an attractive resource for tourism, but also, and more importantly, for the conservation of these species, given that Extremadura holds nationally and internationally important populations of some of them and therefore bears a responsibly for safeguarding these birds.
GUIDEX notes that the local government in Extremadura has recognized this decline as worrying and is supporting research on causal factors. We hope that the results of this research will help us understand the current status of these species and enable urgent and appropriate measures to be undertaken to halt this decline and ensure the conservation of these populations.
As professionals specialized in birding tourism, we are committed and available to offer our support to this research and to conservation and we offer our experience as local guides, working under an ethical code of conduct, to collaborate with the authorities in terms of best practice and measures to reduce the potential disturbance to these species in sensitive areas during the breeding season by avoiding any negative impact from visitors.
Given our concern about the situation of these species, we have chosen as our new logo the Little Bustard, with the objective to draw attention to the delicate situation that this species faces in Extremadura. The Little Bustard, as well as being a sought-after species for visiting birders and an emblematic species of the plains, also best represents the precarious situation that the steppic species are found in.
The Association of Profession Bird and Nature Guides of Extremadura (GUIDEX) is a professional body of birding and nature guides, based and working in Extremadura, with its objectives being to represent this professional group and ensure that the services offered by its members are of the highest quality.