URBAN BIRDING is the name of the tourist product that has been created in Extremadura with the lesser kestrel in mind. It was created as part of the LIFE ZEPAURBAN Project. Said project is financed by the European Union and its objective is to guarantee the long-term conservation of this small falcon species. Extremadura is the only European region that has included exclusively urban areas for the conservation of lesser kestrel colonies as part of the Natura 2000 Network.
The tourism sector's participation in a project of an environmental nature is essential, as the development of a sustainable economic model based on the observation of the lesser kestrel guarantees the future for the species.
URBAN BIRDING brings together different companies from the region: specialized guides, activity companies, lodging companies, restaurant companies, art studios, etc. Considering them all, URBAN BIRDING acts as the backbone of a wide variety of tourist experiences that allow travelers to enjoy and observe lesser kestrels in their urban habitats and areas where they are commonly found while combining the region’s historical/artistic heritage, nature, and the quality of the Extremadura's culinary products.
On the one hand, the project is yet another incentive for tourists who visit the cities attracted by the heritage, culture, cuisine, etc. that they offer. On the other hand, it is a unique option for tourists seeking bird watching experiences – tourists who are typically used to visiting large, open spaces in the middle of nature and not cities.
The URBAN BIRDING Tourist Product is also considered an opportunity to diversify and boost tourism for the towns where the 19 Urban SPAs are located, declared SPAs due to the presence of the lesser kestrel. In the initial phase and as a pilot test, the project's implementation is limited to five towns with specific touristic relevance: Cáceres, Jerez de los Caballeros, Plasencia, Trujillo, and Zafra. Having said that, the product has been designed so that it can be replicated in any municipality inside or outside of Extremadura by using the materials created.
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