It is an excellent season for the Lesser Grey Shrike in Catalonia (NE Spain) with up to 19 different individuals that have returned from Africa so far. That means an important goal for the Conservation Project as we should go back more than 10 years to find such a high number of this Critically Endangered species coming back to their last breeding grounds, located in Lleida and included in the Natura 2000 network.

All the Lesser Grey Shrikes but two were born in captivity in the Breeding Center, in Vallcalent (Lleida) and were released by hacking (seven in 2016, three in 2015 and one in 2014). One of the only seven fledglings in Spain in 2016 has also come back.

A pair of Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor). Photo: J. Guerra/Trenca

Lesser Grey Shrike chick released by hacking in 2016. Photo: M.Galvez/Trenca

For the sixth consecutive year we also have the visit of a male born in a wild nest in 2011. And since then, he has come back and bred annualy, a great feat for a small bird that performs one of the longest migration among the European passerines.

We hope to keep having good news for the Lesser Grey Shrike during the next weeks!

TRENCA ngo has been working for several years in the conservation of this species, through the protection of the last breeding pairs and the conservation of the breeding habitat as well as reinforcing the population thanks to an ambitious captive breeding project. This project is possible thanks to the collaboration of the Captive Breeding Center of Vallcalent (Lleida), run by the Catalan Government as well as the financial assistance of Fundación Biodiversidad (Spanish Government), the Catalan Government and the Barcelona Zoo. WWF Spain contributes to the project offering technical advice, finding financial assitance and spreading the project’s achievements.