Human disturbance is a common threat for species of conservation concern such as the Eleonora’s Falcon. This paper shows that the rise in tourist presence from 1992 to 2000 has not affected the overall number of breeding pairs or their productivity in a small archipelago of the western Mediterranean (Columbretes Islands). However, the increasing tourist activity has coincided with a shift in the degree of occupancy on two islands within the archipelago, favouring that with a lower human presence close to colonies. Several conservation actions are reported and suggested, aimed at both testing and preventing the role of human presence as a factor influencing long-term colony persistence and growth.
Eleonora's Falcon, Human disturbance, Navigation tourism, Columbretes, Conservation, western Mediterranean
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