Ornithological Society Conference II

€3,000 awarded

Organisation requesting funding:

SOM, the Ornithological Society of Menorca, was created in 2000 as a response to the concern of many of the ornithologists who work in Menorca or in this field, as well as bird watching enthusiasts. It is a completely voluntary-based run organisation. They were originally the members of GOB but as GOB expanded its areas of work and became more controversial they set-up their separate association maintaining GOBs original focus – ornithology.

The objectives of the Society are the study, dissemination and protection of birds in Menorca. For the development of its objectives, the Ornithological Society of Menorca (SOM) promotes and carries out certain activities aimed at the study of birds and their populations, which include both nesting and hibernating residents, as well as the study of all populations of migratory birds.

In order to achieve this, the SOM participates in various monitoring projects by means of studying, be it of some species in particular, or through the realization of intensive ringing campaigns during periods of migration and wintering, for which it counts with a team of ornithologists and anchors that is in charge of the task of collecting data through field work.

As a means of dissemination and in order to promote the participation of ornithologists and those wishing to volunteer, SOM also hosts various activities that are open to the public.

SOM is a nonprofit association run entirely by volunteers and, as such, does not have its own funds.


Issue of Concern being addressed:

Landscape & Wildlife Conservation.


Value of Grant: €22,400

Amount requested of the MEPF: €3,000


Possible Project Collaborations:

The Consell de Menorca and the Biosphere Reserve agency have already confirmed their support. IME/OBSAM: SOM are liaising with them to publish the results of the conference after it takes place.

Organisational committee: The aim is to have a representative from each of the participating territories and the first meeting of the organization is taking place in south of France in February. This committee is comprised of a representative from: Cataluña – Insitut Català d’Ornitologia-ICO; Castellón – Grup Au; Balears- Grup Ornitològic Balear (GOB) and SOM (organizer); Andorra – Centre d’Estudis de la Neu i la Muntanya d’Andorra; València – la Societat Valenciana d’Ornitologia; and South of France – Groupe Ornithologique du Roussillon. Also there will also be a member of the Biosphere reserve agency as coo- organisers.


Project Overview:

The Ornithological Congress of Catalan-speaking regions (COTPC) is an event that was launched in 2018 by the Catalan Institute of Ornithology (ICO) at the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona. An organizing committee was created, headed by the members of ICO Abel Julien, Gabriel Gargallo and Raül Aymí. Later he joined the committee Joan Castany, from the group Au de Castello; Manolo Suárez, from the Balearic Ornithological Group (GOB); Clara Pladevall, from the Centre for Snow Studies and the Mountain of Andorra; Raül Escandell, of the Ornithological Society of Menorca (SOM); Dacha Atienza of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona; Joan Ferré of the Valencian Ornithology Society and Joan- Claude Tocabens del Groupe Ornithologique du Roussillon.

The conference comprised of workshops, talks, exhibitions and online seminars was held in Catalan, Spanish, French and English and was attended by 185 people, which was the maximum capacity of the conference hall in the Museum.
The first Congress was considered a success by all the organizations due, among other reasons, to the high participation and the quality of presentations.


Project objective:

The organizing committee has decided to dedicate this second congress to a very important theme for the Balearic Islands and, more specifically, to Menorca: seabirds.
The three main reasons for this are:

  • The presence on the island of a small population of an endemic bird to Menorca, the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus),
  • Having the largest breeding colony of Scopoli’s shearwater in the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Cuitadella, and
  • The importance of unique bird nesting areas such as Illa de Aire, where at different points of the year we have up to 6 different types of species nesting on this unique 30ha island.50% of the time will be spent covering the monographic topic (seabirds) and 50% towards other ornithological subjects.

    This is an unbeatable occasion to publicise Menorca, and its environmental and ornithological values, to a large number of people, scientists and senior directors who are involved in the conservation of the environment. It is hoped that the conference will also allow for increased protection of the different populations of birds in the study areas – in particular on the Isla del Aire.



The next congress in the Balearic Islands (specifically in Menorca) is proposed for October 10th, 11th and 12th, 2020 with renewed policies for health and safety regulations, as a result of COVID-19