Cernicalo Primilla

They include the required conservation strategies adapted to the cultural context of the Alhambra.

Other projects

The Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni, Fleischer, 1818) is one of the smallest falcons of Europe, slightly smaller than a pigeon, but much slenderer. There exist diverse textual references that prove the presence of Lesser Kestrels in the Alhambra from the middle of the 19th century. The colony disappeared during the first third of the 20th century.

The project of “Reintroduction of Lesser Kestrels (Falco Naumanni) in the Alhambra” started in September, 1997, with the collaboration of the Patronato de La Alhambra y Generalife, the Sociedad Protectora de Animales y Plantas de Granada, the Andalusian Ministry of Environment, and DEMA (Environmental Defense and Study); this project has made possible the return of the endangered species to the surroundings of the Nasrid monument, which has been its habitat from the middle of the 19th until the first third of the 20th century.

The project that at present is in monitoring process, consisted of the liberation every year of 20 to 50 chicks of this species, captive-produced in the Breeding Center of Lesser Kestrel of the DEMA in Almendralejo (Badajoz), wherefore the conditions of a natural colony were created and then they were moved together with a group of specimens in large-scaled cages placed in the reintroduction site.

In six liberation campaigns carried out between 1999 and 2004, 229 Lesser Kestrel chicks were set free, 27,5 % of which have returned to the Alhambra after their annual winter migration to Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2002 the first two breeding couples settled in the enclosure of the monument, since the Lesser Kestrels have disappeared from the Alhambra, more than 60 years ago.

The surroundings of the Monument is at present the habitat of a colony of more than nine couples, most of them living in nests built in the tower Torre de las Cabezas, closed to the public. Last year, 23 new chicks have been born in the Alhambra.