EUROPEAN cranes have returned to Spain in their thousands to spend the winter season in the country and the Murcia region has seen their own fair share.
It’s been estimated that more than 218,000 have arrived according to the first major count of the season and announced by José Antonio Román, the census coordinator and a member of the Crane Working and Conservation Group.
Román noted that the total number of wintering common cranes across the Iberian Peninsula as a whole – that includes the estimated 10,000 in Portugal – is around 228,000, a figure that represents a significant drop on the 242,000 from the same period last year.
The decrease in the number of wintering cranes across Spain and Portugal, he commented, is explained in that in countries like Germany there are still some 37,000 cranes and in Poland around 15,000, which means that there are still more than 50,000 cranes in the centre of Europe that will end up here when the really cold weather sets in.
The severe drought conditions experienced across the Murcia region has also been a contributing factor to the lack of cranes arriving this season.