Applaud Efforts to Conserve Macaronesian Sparrow Hawk


Target: Ana Isabel Fagundes, Biologist, Manager of Madeira SPEA branch

Goal: Applaud the efforts of conservationists for working to protect an endangered hawk species in Madeira.

The Portuguese archipelago Madeira has been affected by human colonization since the early 15th century when colonizers came and burned much of the forested area to establish farmlands. In addition to burning the forests, humans have over time introduced exotic animal species such as rats and various flowering plant species that have invaded the islands of Madeira. Currently, the ecosystem of the island chain is experiencing increased levels of havoc, and conservation efforts are underway to aid the suffering island organisms by focusing on conserving a prominent hawk species.

A key species of the Madeira area, the Macaronesian sparrow hawk, is in danger of being completely wiped out. Currently, only approximately nine nesting pairs of the hawks inhabit Madeira. This alarmingly small number of the hawk species indicates the grave need to work on maintaining and increasing the wildlife conservation efforts in Madeira. Biologist Ana Isabel Fagundes and her colleagues believe that by focusing on conserving this hawk species, they will be able to aid in the overall conservation of the area.

Fagundes established a local branch of the Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), which is a nonprofit scientific Portuguese bird protection group.  Fagundes and her colleagues through SPEA are working to reverse the effects of habitat loss, which have caused decreased numbers of smaller bird species. These effects have taken a toll on the Macaronesian sparrow hawk, which feeds on the smaller bird species. Fagundes believes that what is good for the hawks is also good for the rest of the native species living in Madeira.

Please sign the petition below to applaud and to support the efforts of Ana Isabel Fagundes and her colleagues in working to conserve the Macaronesian sparrow hawk species. The survival of this key species will help to conserve the overall ecosystem in Madeira, and help to override the devastating effects that the island chain has sustained so far from destructive human activities on the islands.


Dear  Ana Isabel Fagundes,

Hearing about the conservation efforts that you and your colleagues are currently doing through SPEA was quite heartening. The colonization effects from humans have been taking a toll on native species of the Madeira archipelago, and native wildlife conservation is vital. Although it is a shame that so much damage has accrued in the archipelago, resulting in an alarmingly small number of surviving Macaronesian sparrow hawk couples, conservation efforts will no doubt help turn things around over time.

Thank you for your efforts in conserving the Macaronesian sparrow hawk, and please continue with your great work. I look forward to hearing about positive changes that result from SPEA’s efforts.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Thomas O’Neil via Wikimedia Commons

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