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Madrid, Spain

Guil F.,Tragsega | Agudin S.,Tragsega | El-Khadir N.,Tragsega | Fernandez-Olalla M.,E.T.S. Ingenieros de Montes | And 7 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2010

Camera trapping is the most used method for surveying medium-sized carnivores in Spain. The main target for these surveys has been the Iberian lynx, the most endangered cat in the world. The Iberian lynx conservation program has received the largest EU LIFE projects grant. So, efficiency is a key goal for managing this grant. During 2003 and 2007, we have applied these funds to the survey of the Iberian lynx in Eastern Sierra Morena (Spain). Using two different techniques, we have studied both to see which is the most efficient. The survey developed in active latrines resulted more efficient than that of scent stations and live prey camera trapping throughout the years, although there has been a variation between years. Otherwise, the live prey method has been the one providing the greatest speed and number of pictures per entrance. We suggest that camera-trapping surveys can be improved in terms of efficiency for a wide range of species, or at least for the Iberian lynx. To improve the results, cameras might be placed in relation to breeding territories. With this determinant, camera-trapping surveys would be shorter than 120 days. Finally, we suggest how those surveys for medium carnivores should be designed. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Fernandez-Olalla M.,Technical University of Madrid | Martinez-Jauregui M.,Technical University of Madrid | Guil F.,Fundacion CBD Habitat | Miguel-Ayanz A.S.,Technical University of Madrid
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2010

In Spain, wild rabbits are essential for some highly endangered species, and, therefore, many actions have been undertaken to increase their populations. In the present study, artificial warrens are provided as a means to increase shelter for native wild rabbit populations in a given area. We evaluate the use of three types of warrens by rabbits and the effect on that use of five habitat characteristics at two spatial scales (500 × 500-m grids and 25-m plots). To evaluate that use, we identified pre-established signs at the entrances to each warren, and based on this, we calculated occupancy rate and activity. Our results indicate that rabbit abundance within a grid is the only variable which simultaneously explains both the greater occupancy and the higher activity in the artificial warrens located in that grid. Some 73.2% of the grids showed signs of rabbit use at the time of the evaluation. However, the pre-existing rabbit populations within the grids were not quantified and, hence, we cannot state that the warrens contributed to an increase in the rabbit abundance. Regarding the habitat, our results reveal that warrens should be situated in grids with food coverage of less than 50%, while the use of each individual refuge is greater where food availability in the immediate surroundings is at least 20% and shelter at least 50%. The tube warrens showed significantly greater rabbit use than the other types while there was little difference between the stone and pallet warrens in terms of use. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

Karamanlidis A.A.,MOm Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal | Dendrinos P.,MOm Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal | de Larrinoa P.F.,Fundacion CBD Habitat | Gucu A.C.,Middle East Technical University | And 3 more authors.
Mammal Review | Year: 2016

The Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus is the most endangered seal species. In this review we summarize the status, ecology, and behaviour of the Mediterranean monk seal, and identify the main threats that currently affect the species and the conservation priorities for securing its survival. Once abundant throughout the Black Sea and Mediterranean, as well as off the Atlantic coasts of northwestern Africa and Macaronesia, the Mediterranean monk seal has recently suffered dramatic declines, both in abundance and geographical range. It is now estimated that fewer than 700 individuals survive in three or four isolated subpopulations in the eastern and western Mediterranean, the archipelago of Madeira and the Cabo Blanco area in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean. Mediterranean monk seals are coastal marine mammals. When resting and pupping on land, individuals generally seek refuge in inaccessible marine caves; this behaviour is, in part, believed to be an adaptation to increased disturbance by humans. Larger aggregations or colonies of the species can now be found only at Cabo Blanco in the Atlantic Ocean and on the island of Gyaros in the eastern Mediterranean. The main threats to the survival of the Mediterranean monk seal are habitat deterioration; deliberate killing, mainly by fishermen; and accidental entanglement and drowning in fishing gear. Limited availability of food sources and stochastic and unusual events have occasionally also contributed to Mediterranean monk seal mortality. Based on a common consensus among scientists and conservationists, the main conservation priorities for the monk seal are: habitat protection; mitigating negative interactions between seals and fisheries; scientific research and monitoring of local seal populations; education and public awareness campaigns; and rescue and rehabilitation of wounded, sick, and orphaned seals. © 2016 The Mammal Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Gonzalez L.M.,Subdireccion General del Medio Natural | De Larrinoa P.F.,Fundacion CBD Habitat
Mammalia | Year: 2013

The most important surviving colony of the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) inhabits the Atlantic Saharan coast. The population has not recovered despite the cessation of commercial sealing in the second half of the 20th century. We report the distribution of the monk seals within the region from 1940 to 1989 and their interactions with fisheries, from data gathered through interviews of fishermen. Our study shows a notable decrease in the seals' range during the study period. Observations of seals on open beaches and exposed rocks decreased, while observations in caves increased. Important negative interactions between monk seals and fisheries were detected, with the most frequent interactions being bycatch in gillnets and bottom trawl nets. Reports obtained from fishermen clearly indicate that the seals were still being deliberately killed on land during the 20th century, which likely caused the extirpation of seal populations hauling out on beaches. We recommend that mortality due to fishery bycatch be added as a contributing factor to the decline of the monk seal populations in the region from 1940 to 1989. We also recommend conservation measures such as the establishment of a permanent marine reserve along the Atlantic Coast of the Cap Blanc Peninsula. © 2013 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Source

Martinez-Jauregui M.,CIFOR INIA | Tavecchia G.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | Cedenilla M.A.,Fundacion CBD Habitat | Coulson T.,Imperial College London | And 3 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2012

Environmental and demographic stochasticity alone can push small populations to extinction. However, some small populations can persist for a long time at a low density, maintaining potential for rapid growth. We investigated the demographic mechanisms underlying the response of the population of the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus on the Cabo Blanco peninsula (Mauritania/Morocco). The population was dramatically reduced after a demographic crash in 1997, which was initially thought to have pushed the population toward extinction. Census data, individual-based data on presence-absence and breeding state data were obtained by direct observation, by photo-identification and through the analysis of video images at the only known breeding sites for the species. We found that the monk seal population at Cabo Blanco is recovering, with means of 31 (24.8, 36.8) sub-adults, 46 (42.3, 49.7) adult females and 39 (29.1, 48.4) adult males using the 2 breeding sites in 2007. The population structure is similar to proportions prior to the mass mortality event. Annual survival probabilities for sub-adults, adult females and adult males were 0.81 (0.676 to 0.904), 0.99 (0.926 to 0.998) and 0.87 (0.81 to 0.94), respectively. At present, juvenile survival is unknown, but the high survival of females and the high breeding potential are likely to be responsible for the population recovery. © Inter-Research 2012 · www.int-res.com. Source

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