Saturday, September 25

A vulnerable bird, the plover plover, returns to breed on the Valencian beaches thanks to volunteer ecologists

Three plover chicks (Charadrius alexandrinus), a threatened bird species in the Valencian Community, have managed to survive after several unsuccessful seasons, thanks to a volunteer work promoted by Acció Ecologista-Agró, Ambiens and the Valencian Ornithology Society (SVO) . The place has been the Marjal de Rafalell and Vistabella-Massamagrell beach within the framework of the Tancat de la Pipa agreement signed with the Valencia City Council.

Acció Ecologista-Agró explains that this success has occurred after the plover made 19 nests on the same beach between 2018 and 2020, but no chicks managed to survive. The main enemies of this small bird are the predation of other species and, especially, the inconvenience caused by people and pets. Thus, in order to make the reproduction of the plover plover viable, an environmental awareness, surveillance and information campaign has been promoted, carried out during the weekends of June, July and August by some twenty volunteers from the different groups.

This campaign started on Saturday, June 12, when the training session for this environmental program was held to value Marjal de Rafalell and Vistabella beach as a coastal ecosystem and home to the plover plover. From that day until Sunday, August 1, the volunteers of this campaign, which has had the support of the Valencia and Massamagrell municipalities, have appeared on this beach every Saturday and Sunday morning.

His task, in addition to monitoring the nests, has consisted of making residents and tourists aware of the importance of their conservation and informing them of the regulations in this regard. In this way they have reminded the users of this beach that dogs are prohibited and that, in any case, they will wear them knotted to avoid discomfort to chicks, which are very sensitive to interactions with pets.

In total, this breeding season, two plover nests, with three eggs each, have been located in the Rafalell and Vistabella dunes. In the first, located in the southern area of ​​this beach and within the dune protection perimeter, two chicks survived. And in the second, discovered in the central area by the volunteers of this campaign, one has come out. This second nest was outside the protected perimeter, with stakes and ropes, of the dune system, so the volunteers expanded the limited area to increase the chances of survival of the eggs, from which one managed to hatch.

Acció Ecologista-Agró has highlighted the importance of the management of the biodiversity of this beach by the municipalities of València and Massamagrell. However, the volunteers have detected actions to improve the management of this corner of the coastline for the 2022 breeding season of the plover plover, such as expanding the protection perimeter of the dunes, improving the signage, increasing surveillance and promote more environmental awareness campaigns.

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