Five Lesser Grey Shrike chicks born into the wild add up to the 22 birds born in captivity and released so far using acclimatization facilities.
The last 19 July, the only five Lesser Grey Shrike chicks born into the wild this year in the whole Iberian Peninsula, in the Torre-ribera agricultural estate (Lleida), began to leave the nest, climbing to the surrounding branches by small jumps. 20 days later, they remain in the nest area, following their parents everywhere they go, although they begin to do their first hunting attemps by themselves.
The smallest chick was moved to Vallcalent Wildlife Centre for three days in order to recover its weight and ensure its survival. It was returned to the nest on 13 July, the same day that all the chicks were ringed by using colour rings.
Regarding the acclimatization facilities, 22 chicks have been already released so far, waiting for eight more fledglings that will complete the total amount of birds born in captivity and released into the wild. At least 21 of them are still present around the releasing area.
The project for the conservation of the Lesser Grey Shrike is an initiative promoted by the Departament of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Natural Environment of the Autonomic Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya). Both the Wildlife Centre of Vallcalent (Generalitat de Catalunya) and the Zoo of Barcelona carry out the ex situ conservation programme, that is, outside the natural habitat. Trenca Association is responsible for doing habitat improvement, wild population tracking, reintroduction of individuals as well as giving support to captive breeding work. The project is further supported by public and private entities (Departament de Territori i Sostenibilitat, Fundación Bodiversidad y Red Eléctrica de España).
For further information on this project, please check the section Conservation of the Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor) in Spain on this website..