The Peregrine Falcon breeds in all Spain's provinces, recording its highest density in the Canary and Balearic archipelagos and the Canabrian and Mediterranean coastline. Inland the most important areas are the Cantabrian, Pyrenean and Iberian mountain ranges. In Extremadura its range takes in the mountain ranges of the north and east of Caceres, with scattered presence in the centre of Cáceres and northeast Badajoz. The most important areas are Ibores-Villuercas (17 pairs), Valle del Jerte (8), Las Hurdes (7) and Monfragüe (4), with odd breeding pairs in the Sierra de Gata (2), Valle del Alagón (2), La Vera (2), La Serena (1) and La Siberia (1). There are nonetheless thought to be several more pairs in the Sierra de Gata (1-2), Valle del Ambroz (2), La Vera (1) and Villuercas (3). In 1998-2002 its presence was recorded in sites with nil counts in 2008, such as the Sierra de San Pedro (4 pairs) and scattered points of the centre and south of Cáceres and the centre and east of Badajoz. In Extremadura, therefore, it can be said to favour areas of a higher altitude and less of a Mediterranean influence. Particular notable is its absence in the southern thirds of both provinces, a lacuna stretching to Huelva, Seville, Córdoba and the meseta sur (Southern Tableland). The reasons for this seem to be lack of nesting sites and competition with other raptors like the Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo).
There is very little to go on in terms of the Peregrine's breeding performance in Extremadura, although 10 out of the 12 pairs that are known to have begun incubation in 2008 actually ended up breeding successfully (83%). There is also a recorded productivity figure of 1.79 young per pair in 2002, above the Spanish mean of 1.42 in 2008 and similar to the 1.74 figure of Andalucía and the 1.8 of Castilla-La Mancha.
The fact that no complete counts have ever been conducted in Extremadura makes it hard to ascertain the regional trend of the Peregrine Falcon. Partial information is available for the years 2000 (38-44 pairs), 2002 (49-60) and 2007 (50). The graph shows the maximum figures known in these years rather than the real population trend. Nonetheless, judging from the highest-density and best-surveyed areas, the trend seems to be stable, with traditional territories regularly occupied and few known cases of abandoned territories. Thus, the figures for these areas in the years 2000, 2002 and 2008, were, respectively 9, 8 and 9 pairs in Gata-Hurdes; 6, 10 and 10 in Gredos and 14, 18 and 17 in Ibores-Villuercas. Nonetheless the Peregrine's numbers are falling in nearly all the provinces bordering on Extremadura (Salamanca, Ávila, Toledo, Córdoba and Sevilla), especially in river valleys (only one territory remains in the Adaja valley in Ávila; the number of pairs along the Tagus as it runs through Toledo have fallen from 30 to 2 pairs and similar cases are recorded for Guadalajara and Madrid) and in western Sierra Morena (where it no longer breeds). Several reasons are put forward for this decline, though mention is always made of the Eagle Owl as competitor for nesting sites and predator of adult and young Peregrines. Closer attention will therefore have to be paid to Extremadura's population to pinpoint any possible decline.
Prieta, J. 2009. El halcón peregrino en Extremadura. Pp. 115-118.
Prieta, J. 2009. El halcón peregrino en Badajoz. Pp. 118-119.
Prieta, J. 2009. El halcón peregrino en Cáceres. Pp. 119-120.
En: Del Moral, J. C. (Ed). 2009. El halcón peregrino en España. Población reproductora en 2008 y método de censo. SEO/BirdLife. Madrid.