AN ENVIRONMENTAL group has said that at least 14 chicks of one of the most endangered aquatic bird species in Europe have been born at a wetland in Roquetas de Mar.
The Society for the Study and Recovery of Almeria Biodiversity (SERBAL) said two female Marbled ducks had been spotted with their young in Ribera de la Algaida. The birds are classed as critically endangered by the Ministry of Environment.
SERBAL carried out regular visits to the wetland to monitor the birds during their breeding season earlier this year.
The group said “abundant” rainfall meant more water-based animals had been drawn to the area than usual.
“The Marbled duck is a very discreet and distrustful species, especially during breeding season, so the monitoring of it becomes very complicated,” SERBAL said.
“One of our cameras captured one female with six chicks and another female with eight chickens last month.”
“We are sure they were two different females since both ponds are very far apart and the chicks observed were of different ages,” the group added.
Marbled ducks go to the Ribera de la Algaida every year but changing water levels mean they do not always breeding. The last time the waters reached the right level was in 2013, SERBAL said.
A survey found there were around 60 pairs of Marbled ducks in Spain last year. These were found in wetlands in Andalucia, Alicante and the Balearic Islands.