Ega Wildlife Consultants

Castilfrío de la Sierra, Spain

Ega Wildlife Consultants

Castilfrío de la Sierra, Spain
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Rodrigues P.,University of Aveiro | Rodrigues P.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical | Herrero J.,Area of Ecology | Garcia-Serrano A.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | And 5 more authors.
Pirineos | Year: 2016

Habitat use by wild boar Sus scrofa was examined during a three-year period in Moncayo Nature Park, a protected mountain area in the Iberian mountain system, Spain. Tracking indirect signs of activity was used to collect data on the species occurrence, according to vegetation type, topography, hunting activity, and season. The data were analysed using binary logistic regression. Habitat used by wild boar differed according seasons, management practices, and vegetation. Main selected habitats were at medium elevations (1,101-1,600 m) in areas dominated by holm oak (Quercus ilex), beech (Fagus sylvatica) and oak woods of Q. robur, Q. petraea and Q. pyrenaica. Non-hunting areas were selected over hunting areas. We found a seasonal variation in the habitat use of wild boar, with areas dominated by holm oak being used disproportionately in spring, and areas at medium elevations selected only during summer. The results also support the view that non-hunting areas provide a refuge for this species inside the protected area. Copyright: © 2016 CSIC This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) Spain 3.0.

Herrero J.,University of Alcalá | Herrero J.,Polytechnic University of Mozambique | Garin I.,University of the Basque Country | Prada C.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | Garcia-Serrano A.,Ega Wildlife Consultants
ORYX | Year: 2010

Two political jurisdictions in northern Spain, Navarre, where the Pyrenean chamois Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica is categorized as Vulnerable, and Aragon, where it is huntable, coordinated management for the recovery of this subspecies at the western limit of its range. After an estimate of only a small population in 1992-1993 hunting was banned in Aragon and, in 1995-1996, monitoring of both populations began. In the two massifs where the subspecies lives, which lie across the border of the two jurisdictions, chamois populations increased from 33 to 136 and from 144 to 455 by 2007 (average annual increases were 15 and 11%, respectively). The subspecies was also located on a third massif, in 2002. After the recovery the ban against hunting was lifted in Aragon, in 2006, with a sustainable hunting quota based on 5% of the estimated minimum population size. We conclude that coordinated management between agencies in two jurisdictions has fostered the recovery of the Pyrenean chamois. © 2010 Fauna & Flora International.

Palomero G.,Brown Bear Foundation | Ballesteros F.,Brown Bear Foundation | Nores C.,University of Oviedo | Blanco J.C.,Brown Bear Foundation | And 2 more authors.
Ursus | Year: 2010

We reply to the critique from Fernndez-Gil et al. (2010) regarding our study on trends in female brown bears with cubs (FCUB) in the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain (Palomero et al. 2007). We discuss the relationship between sampling effort and the number of FCUB, the methods used to collect the data, and the relationship between the FCUB and the whole bear population. © International Association for Bear Research and Management.

Carlos N.,Fundacion Oso Pardo | Carlos N.,University of Oviedo | Fernando B.,Fundacion Oso Pardo | Blanco J.C.,Fundacion Oso Pardo | And 3 more authors.
Acta Theriologica | Year: 2010

Evidence of non-hibernation in brown bears Ursus arctos Linnaeus, 1758 on the Iberian Peninsula has existed since the Middle Ages. We systematically monitored brown bears in the Cantabrian Mountains (Northern Spain) by recording tracks and sightings from 1998 to 2007 to document hibernation behaviour. Our results indicate that females with yearlings and solitary yearlings were more active in winter than bears over two years old. Intensive snow tracking and direct observations of five family groups indicated that they travelled, fed and defecated in winter, which are activities not compatible with the physiological state of hibernation. Also, based on tracking data, the maximum period between two consecutive locations of active family groups in winter was less than that needed by bears to emerge from a state of hibernation (6 days). We conclude that the family groups which we monitored in winter did not hibernate.

Torres R.T.,University of Aveiro | Herrero J.,University of Zaragoza | Prada C.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | Garcia-Serrano A.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | And 2 more authors.
Forest Systems | Year: 2014

Aim of study: To manage and conserve wild populations effectively, a good understating of population density is critical. During 2010, the density of Iberian wild goat Capra pyrenaica and mouflon Ovis aries were estimated. Area of study: The area is situated in Muela de Cortes Game Reservation (Spain), a Mediterranean forest plateau, after a mange Sarcoptes scabiei outbreak that affected both species. Material and methods: To measure the abundance, sex ratio and productivity of the Iberian wild goat and mouflon. Field work was conducted during spring (after parturition) and autumn (during rut) by walking along itineraries, using a Distance Sampling approach. Main results: Based on DS, the best relative fit of model and adjustment term for Iberian wild goat was hazard-rate cosine, based on the lowest AIC score. The average density for Iberian wild goat was 4 km-2 (95% CI: 2,3-6,9) (after parturition) and 3,6 km-2 (95% CI: 2-6.6) (during rut). Average estimation was 1,422 goats (95% CI: 813-2,487) after parturition and 1,308 during rut (95% CI: 725- 2,362). Mouflon best relative fit of model and adjustment term was uniform cosine after parturition, based on the lowest AIC score. The best relative fit of model and adjustment term for mouflon was hazard-rate cosine, based on the lowest AIC score. The average density was 6.8 mouflon km-2 (95% CI: 4.7-9,9) after parturition and 7,4 mouflon km-2 (95% CI: 4,4 -12,5) during rut. Average estimation was 2,440 mouflon after parturition (95% CI: 1,673-3,558) and 2,678 during rut (95% CI: 1,589-4,515). Research highlights: The area represents one of the largest continental free-living populations of mouflon in Europe and a relevant area for Iberian wild goat, where it has survived for centuries and spread into the East Iberia. This study suggests that the survey methods used are suitable and sustainable with available field personnel for quantifying changes in wild goat and mouflon populations, particularly in rugged forest environments. Monitoring should be continued and be part of the development of a comprehensive management programme for Iberian wild goat and mouflon.

Herrero J.,University of Zaragoza | Fernandez-Arberas O.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | Prada C.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | Garcia-Serrano A.,Ega Wildlife Consultants
Wildlife Biology in Practice | Year: 2013

To estimate the number and density of feral goats Capra hircus in Guara Nature Park (Pyrenees, Spain), 27 observation points were established throughout a 440 km2 portion of the park occupied by goats. In April and May 2009, goats were counted daily during 3-h observation periods that began at dawn. The counts documented 282 goats in 39 groups. Their locations were mapped and, to calculate the area occupied by the groups, the data were analysed using ArcInfo, which indicated that the total visual area was 8,075 ha. Based on Distance Sampling, we estimated the density was 2.1 goats km2 (coefficient of variation 32%), which implied a population of about 940 individuals. That sub-population is part of a larger population in the southern Pyrenees that is distributed over an area of at least 2,100 km2 and, probably, is one of the largest populations in continental Europe. In the Pyrenees feral goats might be an important food resource for the endangered Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos. The conservation, control, or eradication of those goats should be based on a comprehensive analysis of its role in the ecology of the Pyrenees. © 2013 R.T. Torres; J. Santos & C. Fonseca.

Blanco J.C.,Brown Bear Foundation | Ballesteros F.,Brown Bear Foundation | Garcia-Serrano A.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | Herrero J.,University of Zaragoza | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2011

Although brown bears (Ursus arctos) are known to be major predators of ungulates in North America and Northern Europe, there is little documentation regarding bear predation on wild ungulates in Southern Europe. We describe search, detection, killing and prey consumption behaviour by brown bears during seven attacks on ltone-month roe deer, red deer and chamois fawns in spring in the Cantabrian Mountains, north-western Spain. As soon as the bears detected a fawn by their smell or their mother's presence, they switched from routine foraging on plants and insects to an intensive search for the fawns, mainly using smell to comb a 0.5-1 ha area for 15-45 min. They killed the fawns either while the latter were resting or after a brief chase. The bears usually took their prey to dense vegetation, consuming it immediately. In four cases, 5-month-old cubs accompanying the female did not participate in the hunt. We also document the apparently non-predatory killing of a 40-kg wild boar by a female bear with cubs surprised by a sudden encounter. They did not eat the boar after the attack. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Herrero J.,University of Zaragoza | Fernandez-Arberas O.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | Prada C.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | Garcia-Serrano A.,Ega Wildlife Consultants | Garcia-Gonzalez R.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology
Mammalia | Year: 2013

In January 2000, the last Pyrenean wild goat, Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica, died in Ordesa National Park in the Spanish Pyrenees. Since that time, there has been an intense debate over the possibility of using individuals from other extant subspecies to restore the Iberian wild goat C. pyrenaica in the Pyrenees. In the late 1990s, some Iberian wild goats of the hispanica subspecies escaped from an enclosure in Guara Nature Park, also in the Spanish Pyrenees. Between 2006 and 2012, four annual counts were conducted to quantify the demographics of the population. This expanding but isolated population numbered at least 86 free-living Iberian wild goats in 2012, reproducing in the wild with a positive increasing trend (λ = 1.067). Given the small number of original animals that escaped, new releases are necessary to insure the genetic variability of the small population, but only if a clear decision on its conservation is finally made. In addition, the population is sympatric with a population of several hundred feral goats, C. hircus, which should be monitored closely, in order to detect any problems with competence or hybridization, although the latter has not been demonstrated in the wild.

Lucas P.M.,CSIC - Doñana Biological Station | Lucas P.M.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | Herrero J.,University of Zaragoza | Fernandez-Arberas O.,CSIC - Pyrenean Institute of Ecology | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2016

After a drastic contraction in the species' range, the Iberian wild goat Capra pyrenaica (Schinz, 1838) has recolonized semi-arid steppe areas where the availability of resources is lower than it is in the species typical habitat. There is a gap in the habitat characteristics that allow the species to survive in an environment that lacks high cliffs and rocky outcrops. We hypothesize that microhabitat characteristics allow the species to find the resources necessary for survival in atypical areas. To test that, we measured several topographic variables (slope, distance to small cliffs and elevation) as well as land use/cover variables (distance to bushes, forests, agriculture, artificial and rivers). To model the habitat in the Middle Ebro Valley, Spain, we used data from 7-yr of monitoring of the species in an averaged-model with Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM-Logit). Distance to small cliffs and distance to bushes explained most of the variance in the model which reflected a fragmented potential habitat. The fragmented structure of the habitat which might act as a metapopulation system, and the spatial configuration of fragments along rivers might act as corridors that favour the dispersal should be taken in consideration in the conservation and management of the species. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Arnal M.,University of Zaragoza | Herrero J.,University of Zaragoza | de la Fe C.,University of Murcia | Revilla M.,University of Zaragoza | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Between 2006 and 2008, an outbreak of Infectious Keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) affected Pyrenean chamois Rupicapra p. pyrenaica, an endemic subspecies of mountain ungulate that lives in the Pyrenees. The study focused on 14 mountain massifs (180,000 ha) where the species' population is stable. Cases of IKC were detected in ten of the massifs and, in five of them, mortality was substantial. The outbreak spread quickly from the first location detected, with two peaks in mortality that affected one (2007) and three (2008) massifs. In the latter, the peak was seasonal (spring to autumn) and, in the former, the outbreak persisted through winter. To identify the outbreak's aetiology, we examined 105 Pyrenean chamois clinically affected with IKC. TaqMan rt-PCR identified Mycoplasma conjunctivae in 93 (88.5%) of the chamois. Another rt-PCR detected Chlamydophila spp. in 14 of chamois, and 12 of those had mixed infections with mycoplasmas. In the period 2000-2007, the chamois population increased slightly (λ 1.026) but decreased significantly during the IKC outbreak (λ 0.8, 2007-2008; λ 0.85, 2008-2009) before increasing significantly after the outbreak (λ 1.1, 2009-2010). Sex-biased mortality shifted the adult sex ratio toward males (from 0.6 to 0.7 males per female) and reduced productivity slightly. Hunting was practically banned in the massifs where chamois experienced significant mortality and allowed again after the outbreak ended. Long-term monitoring of wild populations provides a basis for understanding the impacts of disease outbreaks and improves management decisions, particularly when species are subject to extractive exploitation. © 2013 Arnal et al.

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