According to the data from New Atlas of breeding birds in Catalonia, three of the seven species of Owls that breed in Catalonia have suffered a decline in terms of distribution, from the period 1975-83, when the field work of the 1st Catalan atlas was carried out. The most affected species is the Barn Owl (Tyto alba), but the Little Owl (Athene noctua) and, to a lesser extent, the Scops Owl (Otus scops) follow the same trend.
In order to reverse, at least partially, this situation, the Grup de Naturalistes d’Osona has been promoting actions to favour the presence of these birds for more than 30 years, in agreement with the owners of agroforestry lands. These actions consist in the installation of nest-boxes, the creation of grasslands, the protection of old trees, the modification of ponds to prevent drowning and, lately, the testing of new rodenticide products without secondary effects on predators.
Currently, the project is in a formalization and structuring phase that will allow the consolidation of this reserve of more than 1,600 hectares, which in recent years has housed 12 pairs of Barn Owls, 39 pairs of Long-eared Owls (Asio otus), 26 pairs of Little Owl, between 40 and 80 pairs of Scops Owls and 15 pairs of Tawny Owls (Strix aluco), all of them as breeders.
In this conference, two members of the GNO will explain to us how they have managed to consolidate a territorial and community project of this scope.