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February 2018
Our Mission
SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.


LIFE Rupis
Life Rupis project, which takes place on the Portuguese-Spanish border,across the protected areas of the International Douro River, the valley of Águeda River, and Arribes del Duero, aims to strengthen the populations of Egyptian Vulture and Bonelli’s Eagle in these areas by reducing mortality and improving breeding success. Other raptor species like the Black Vulture and the Red Kite will also benefit from the project actions.

Study on Mitigation measures to minimise seabird bycatch in gillnet fisheries
Although accidental bycatch of seabirds is still largely unknown in Portugal, there are evidences from pioneering studies that prove that gillnets, longlines and purse seines are the fishing gear with the biggest impact. This is why BirdLife International, along with SPEA, is going to test some innovative mitigation measures to reduce seabird bycatch, never tried before in the Atlantic.

Marine Ecosystem Services in Marine Protected Areas

The project ‘Assessment of marine ecosystem services in marine protected areas – two case studies on the central coast of Portugal ‘started in December 2014. It is an one year project financed by the Gulbenkian Oceans Initiative (GOI). SPEA coordinates the project in partnership with the coastal action groups of Aveiro (GAC-RA) and Oeste (represented by Adepe). The main purpose of the project is to promote ecosystem services value in marine protected areas, underpinning the importance of the designation of these areas and the extension of the existent network.

Protecting Threatened and Endemic species in Cabo Verde
In 2013, with the support of the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA) and a local NGO, Biosfera I, started an ambitious project that aims to remove alien predator species from Santa Luzia, and translocate Raso Larks from Raso to Santa Luzia, as well as to improve the seabird breeding habitat. Other partners, such as RSPB or the Madeira Natural Park and Cambridge University, are supporting the project and helping Biosfera with their experience in similar projects.

VAL+ is a partnership between Docapesca, SPEA and Sciaena Marine Science and Cooperation which started at May 2014 and will last until June 2015. The project is co-funded by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF, 2007-2013) under the PROMAR framework. The main objective of VAL+ is to define the sustentability criteria of Portuguese artisanal fisheries. The target fishing gears are traps and bottom longlines.

Monteiro's Storm-petrel Project (phase 1)
Monteiro's Storm-petrel Project (phase 1) is being implemented by SPEA. The project started by June 2014 and will last until April 2015, being supported by the Graciosa Island Natural Park, the Department of Oceanographic and Fisheries of University of Azores (DOP) and the Life Sciences Department of University of Coimbra. The project is funded by the Preventing Extinctions Programme (PEP) of BirdLife under the Species Guardian Scheme.  The main objective is to build up solid bases for the implementation of a long-term conservation plan for Monteiro's Storm-petrel, a small endemic seabird species of Azores.
  • learn more (soon)

LIFE MarPro Conservation of marine protected species in Mainland Portugal

LIFE MarPro is a partnership between SPEA and 4 other partners which started at January 2011 and will last until December 2015. MarPro aims to reduce the conflicts between fisheries and cetacean and seabird species. Another important goal is to ensure the long-term socio-economic viability of the management, surveillance and monitoring activities of the target species and their habitats, together with the promotion of a sustainable exploitation of marine fishery resources of Mainland Portugal.

FAME - Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment
The project FAME – The Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment is the result of an European partnership. It intends to establish a transnational description and assessment of the interaction between human activities (fishing and offshore renewable power production) and marine biodiversity. This is a unique project since it compiles data from five different countries with comparable methodologies, similar renewables, transnational seabird migrations and results propagation.
  • visit the website (under construction)

LIFE Sustainable Laurel
Project aimed at the conservation of the laurel forest in Serra da Tronqueira and peat bogs in Planalto dos Graminhais, São Miguel, Azores. It is headed by SPEA in a partnership with the SRAM (Regional Sub-Ministry of the Environment and Sea) and Povoação Municipality, and funded by the European Commission's LIFE+ programme.

LIFE Safe Islands for Seabirds
Pioneering project for the conservation of seabird colonies in Azores through habitat recovery and control and eradication of invasive species.
This project is headed by SPEA in a partnership with the SRAM (Regional Sub-Ministry of the Environment and Sea), Corvo Municipality and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

LIFE SOS Freira do Bugio
Project SOS Freira do Bugio is at work in Madeira since 2006. It is headed by the Madeira National Park in a partnership with SPEA. The main goal of the project is to ensure that the population of Freira do Bugio Pterodroma feae and its breeding habitat at the Bugio islet, Desertas, reach a favourable, stable and sustainable conservation status. This habitat is also home to a number of other priority species in EU Directives.

LIFE Malta
Puffinus yelkouan (Yelkouan Shearwater)
The project LIFE Yelkouan Shearwater, headed by BirdLifeMalta in a partnership with SPEA and other Maltese organizations, aims to protect seabirds in Malta. Malta has about 10% of the global population of Yelkouan Shearwater and its protection is of international importance. The project's partners are working together to revert this population's decline and prevent future threats, both at the breeding colony of Rdum-tal-Madonna, Malta, as well as in Portugal.

Sowing the Future II
Aims to propagate concepts about the role of agriculture in maintaining biodiversity and environmental and socio-economic quality, involving farmers and the general public.

LIFE Marine IBAs
The project LIFE Marine IBAs aims to identify the most important areas in Portugal for seabirds in terms of feeding and resting grounds, as well as other important components of their lives at sea.

LIFE Azores Bullfinch
The main goal of this project is to rehabilitate the Azores Bullfinch's habitat by preserving and restoring the endangered Laurel forest in Azores. The most important area for the Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina has a high number of endemic plant species.

LIFE Little Bustard
This project is working on the conservation of the Little Bustard in the Alentejo region. It aims to clearly identify the most important population groups, current land use and applicable spatial planning legislation and what model of agricultural development to apply.

Photos: Águia-de-boneli © João Neves; Paisagem © Nuno Madeira;Pardela-balear © Ricardo Guerreiro; Freira do Bugio © Filipe Viveiros; Alcatraz © Pedro Geraldes;Priolo © Pedro Monteiro; Sisão © Juan Martín Simón.

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