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The status of Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae) in Greece

Dimalexis, Anastasios, Xirouchakis, Stavros, Portolou, Danae, Latsoudis, Panagiotis, Karris, Giorgos, Fric, Jacob, Georgiakakis, Panagiotis, Barboutis, Christos, Bourdakis, Stratis, Ivovič, Milica, Kominos, Theodoros, Kakalis, Eleftherios
Journal für Ornithologie 2008 v.149 no.1 pp. 23-30
Falco, breeding, breeding season, conservation status, databases, falcons, geographic information systems, monitoring, national surveys, population distribution, population dynamics, population size, Crete, Greece
With more than 80% of the species global population breeding in Greece, Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae) is reported to be the most important bird species in the country. A national population survey was conducted during the breeding seasons 2004-2006 in order to assess the species' breeding distribution and population size. This census was the first of its kind and was part of a global population survey, involving more than 80 field workers. Standard field protocols, described in the International Species Action Plan, and a GIS interactive database were developed. Data were stored and spatially explored in conjunction to historical information and past records. A total of about 17,660 falcons were counted or an estimated 12,300 breeding pairs, which were concentrated in six major regions, i.e., northeast Aegean, Sporades, east Cyclades, Antikythira, southwest Dodecanese and the satellite islets of eastern Crete. Compared to previous descriptions of breeding colonies and population status, spatial variation in site occupancy was detected with a population decline in one of the aforementioned regions and an apparent increase in all the rest. The results of this national survey, expected to be repeated every 10 years, provided guidance for reviewing the conservation status of Eleonora's Falcon in Greece and baseline information for future monitoring of its population.