The Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae) is a medium-sized raptor that breeds colonially on steep sea cliffs, islands and islets on the Mediterranean Sea and on the Atlantic Ocean in the Canary Islands and Morocco. The Eleonora’s Falcon winters in Madagascar and start to return to the breeding grounds by the end of April and early May.
Two breeding colonies of the Eleonora’s Falcon are known in Morocco: one at Mogador Islands off Essaouira and the other on mainland cliffs at Bouknadel, north of Salé. The latter is the only known colony of Eleonora’s Falcon breeding on mainland cliffs in the world.
The breeding colony of Bouknadel is doing well despite lack of formal protection. A non-exhaustive census carried out by Karim Rousselon last week produced a minimum of 30 breeding pairs. Karim indicated also that the colony is no longer at the same place but have moved to another larger cove.
Imad Cherkaoui and Adel Bouajaja estimated that about 20 pairs of Eleonara’s Falcon were breeding at this colony in 2011.
Survey underway also at the Mogador colony
On the other hand, members of GREPOM and their collaborators have carried out the first mission of this season of the census the Eleonora’s Falcon population at Mogador islands (900+ breeding pairs in 2014). This census is part of the survey jointly initiated by the High Commission for Water, Forestry and Desertification Control (HCEFLCD – Morocco) and the Conservatoire du Littoral (CdL – France). Information via Abdeljebbar Qninba.