SEO BirdLife

Madrid, Spain

SEO BirdLife

Madrid, Spain
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Cortes V.,University of Barcelona | Arcos J.M.,SEO Birdlife | Gonzalez-Solis J.,University of Barcelona
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2017

Bycatch mortality in longline fisheries is considered the main threat at sea for numerous seabird species. These incidental catches occur worldwide, but mortality levels are mainly determined by the specific traits of the fishery operating in each area and the feeding behaviour and local abundance of seabirds. In the Mediterranean, demersal artisanal longliners are known to catch several seabirds, but bycatch rates and the main factors influencing both the probability and the level of seabird bycatch are poorly known. From 2011 to 2015 we conducted 220 trips onboard demersal longline vessels of the Balearic Sea, aiming to study their interaction with seabirds, as well as to understand the detailed procedures of the fishery and the factors that might influence seabird bycatch. Additionally, we recorded bird catches reported by fishermen. We found an average overall bycatch rate of 0.58 birds per 1000 hooks (0.13-1.37, 95% CI), which would imply a conservative estimate ranging from 274 to 2198 seabirds caught annually on demersal longliners in the study area. The most affected species were the 3 endemic and threatened Scopolis, Balearic and Mediter ranean shearwaters of the Medi terranean (Calo nectris dio - medea, Puffinus mauretanicus and P. yelkouan, re - spectively), likely due to their highly aggregative behaviour and diving capabilities. Overall, the main factors influencing bycatch risk were season and time of day. Other influential factors were bait type, wind conditions, gear configuration (specifically, distance between weights), proximity to the breeding colony and the number of hooks. This study shows that mortality caused by demersal longliners is high and may be jeopardizing the viability of the shear water populations. Therefore, the identification and implementation of mitigation measures is urgently required. © The authors 2017.


Afan I.,SIG | Navarro J.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Ramirez F.,CSIC - Doñana Biological Station | Kato A.,University of Strasbourg | And 5 more authors.
Marine Biology | Year: 2014

As central-place foragers, pelagic seabirds are constrained by spatiotemporal heterogeneity to find productive marine areas and compete for prey. We analysed 97 foraging trips to study the movement and oceanographic characteristics of foraging habitats of two different-yet closely related-species of shearwaters (Scopoli's shearwater Calonectris diomedea and Cory's shearwater C. borealis) breeding in sympatry in the Mediterranean. We combined various methodological approaches (GPS-tracking, species distribution modelling and stable isotope analysis) to explore the foraging strategies of these two species. Isotopic results suggested that trophic habits of both shearwater species were similar, mainly based on pelagic fish consumption. Foraging areas of both species were characterized by shallow waters near the colony. Both shearwater species exploited persistent productive marine areas. The foraging areas of the two species broadly overlapped during the incubation period, but during chick-rearing period, Scopoli's shearwaters apparently foraged in different areas than Cory's shearwaters. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Louzao M.,CNRS Chizé Center for Biological Studies | Louzao M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Louzao M.,Spanish Institute of Oceanography | Delord K.,CNRS Chizé Center for Biological Studies | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The protection of key areas for biodiversity at sea is not as widespread as on land and research investment is necessary to identify biodiversity hotspots in the open ocean. Spatially explicit conservation measures such as the creation of representative networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) is a critical step towards the conservation and management of marine ecosystems, as well as to improve public awareness. Conservation efforts in ecologically rich and threatened ecosystems are specially needed. This is particularly urgent for the Mediterranean marine biodiversity, which includes highly mobile marine vertebrates. Here, we studied the at sea distribution of one of the most endangered Mediterranean seabird, the critically endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus. Present knowledge, from vessel-based surveys, suggests that this species has a coastal distribution over the productive Iberian shelf in relation to the distribution of their main prey, small pelagic fish. We used miniaturised satellite transmitters to determine the key marine areas of the southern population of Balearic shearwaters breeding on Eivissa and spot the spatial connections between breeding and key marine areas. Our tracking study indicates that Balearic shearwaters do not only forage along the Iberian continental shelf but also in more distant marine areas along the North African coast, in particular W of Algeria, but also NE coast of Morocco. Birds recurrently visit these shelf areas at the end of the breeding season. Species distribution modelling identified chlorophyll a as the most important environmental variable in defining those oceanographic features characterizing their key habitats in the western Mediterranean. We identified persistent oceanographic features across time series available in the study area and discuss our results within the current conservation scenario in relation to the ecology of the species. © 2012 Louzao et al.


Ibez C.,IRTA - Institute of Agricultural-Alimentary Research and Technology | Curc A.,Parc Natural Del Delta de lEbre | Riera X.,SEO BirdLife | Ripoll I.,SEO BirdLife | Snchez C.,SEO BirdLife
Waterbirds | Year: 2010

Most literature on birds and rice (Oryza sativa) focuses on the non-growing period and little is known about the influence of management practices during cultivation. A review found that the main factors affecting species composition and abundance in rice fields during the growing season were water level, flooding period, rice plant structure and size, and pesticide use. Highest bird density and diversity occurred at intermediate water levels (1020 cm). Early flooding and late drying favored waterbird density and diversity, and the stopover of migrating species. Taller plants, at higher densities, reduced prey availability to most waterbirds but favored smaller species. Pesticides and herbicides have been shown to be toxic to birds and reduce food resources. A case study is presented for the Ebro delta, Spain. Three management schemes were compared: organic, agri-environmental and conventional. Bird density, biomass and diversity throughout the growing and non-growing seasons were determined in three consecutive years. Bird biomass, density and diversity averaged higher in the organic rice fields, but only biomass was significantly different. The higher biomass reflects the presence of a higher biomass of prey items (fish, invertebrates and macrophytes) in the organic rice fields, likely due to the lack of pesticides. Further research should focus on a quantitative assessment of the effects of specific management practices.


Laneri K.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | Laneri K.,Fundacio Institute Catala Of Ciencies Del Clima Ic3 | Louzao M.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | Louzao M.,University of Oviedo | And 10 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2010

Unintended mortality in longlines emerged in the early 1990s as one of the most important threats for pelagic seabirds worldwide. Most of the studies were focused on highly developed industrial fisheries, overlooking bycatch in small-scale artisanal fisheries. However, bycatch in smallscale fisheries might have negative effects similar to those of industrial fisheries when they overlap with hotspot areas of top predators. Moreover, different types of fishing gear coexist in the same oceanographic area, particularly in highly exploited marine ecosystems such as the western Mediterranean. We quantify for the first time the influence of trawling regime on Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea bycatch in the western Mediterranean longline artisanal fishery. The availability of trawling discards has substantial influence on the foraging and reeding ecology of many seabirds, and trawling inactivity may drive shearwaters to seek alternative food resources, such as baits used in longline fishing. Based on our previous knowledge of the system, we also tested other variables affecting bycatch over 8 yr (1998 to 2005). Within this 2-fishery framework, we found that trawling regime, longline fishing time and breeding stage were key factors explaining shearwater attendance to longline vessels, but mainly trawling regime and fishing time increased the incidental capture of Cory's shearwaters. More specifically, during the pre-breeding and chick-rearing periods, bycatch dramatically increased during sunrise sets in the absence of trawling activity. Importantly, this study indicates the need for an integrated multi-fisheries management approach for the conservation of seabirds and highlights the necessity of banning longline fishing during periods of trawling inactivity. © Inter-Research 2010.


Rodriguez B.,SEO BirdLife | Becares J.,SEO BirdLife | Rodriguez A.,CSIC - Doñana Biological Station | Arcos J.M.,SEO BirdLife
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2013

The quantification of entanglements of megafauna with plastic debris at sea is difficult to assess for several reasons, such as detection and reporting biases. We used standardized vessel based counts to describe and quantify the occurrence of marine debris entanglements in northern gannets Morus bassanus at five of its main wintering areas. We observed 34 entangled birds in total, representing 0.93% of all gannets counted (n=3672 individuals). The incidence of entanglements largely varied geographically, being exceptionally high off Mauritania (20.2% of the birds in late spring). Most birds affected were immature (1.88% compared to 0.06% in adults), which in turn represented 52.4% of all the birds. Entanglements in the lower bill mandible were the most frequent, mainly with red-colored plastic objects. Further research is urgently needed to evaluate the impact of entanglements at the population level and its occurrence in other marine species, and to seek potential solutions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Iglesias-Merchan C.,Technical University of Madrid | Diaz-Balteiro L.,Technical University of Madrid | De La Puente J.,SEO BirdLife
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2016

There is a global and growing concern with regard to anthropogenic noise impact on wildlife and natural habitats, but it is difficult to find consensus regarding scoping and assessment tools. This study adapts noise mapping procedures, common to most European countries, to a low traffic road (below 1000 vehicles per day) noise impact assessment in a breeding colony of the largest bird of prey in Europe. Results show that nest sites are located avoiding road traffic Leq levels higher than 40 dB. This means a road-effect zone of up to 500 m width from road margins, which previous scientific literature only refers in cases of traffic volumes higher than 10 000 vehicles per day. This finding is a noticeable impact by road traffic noise that reduces the breeding potential habitat more than 11% within the study area. This work shows the feasibility of expanding common methods and mapping tools for assessing and managing environmental noise in protected areas, which has worthwhile implications for both acoustics and conservation. © 2016 Acoustical Society of America.


PubMed | SEO BirdLife and Technical University of Madrid
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2016

There is a global and growing concern with regard to anthropogenic noise impact on wildlife and natural habitats, but it is difficult to find consensus regarding scoping and assessment tools. This study adapts noise mapping procedures, common to most European countries, to a low traffic road (below 1000 vehicles per day) noise impact assessment in a breeding colony of the largest bird of prey in Europe. Results show that nest sites are located avoiding road traffic Leq levels higher than 40dB. This means a road-effect zone of up to 500m width from road margins, which previous scientific literature only refers in cases of traffic volumes higher than 10,000 vehicles per day. This finding is a noticeable impact by road traffic noise that reduces the breeding potential habitat more than 11% within the study area. This work shows the feasibility of expanding common methods and mapping tools for assessing and managing environmental noise in protected areas, which has worthwhile implications for both acoustics and conservation.


Arcos J.M.,SEO BirdLife | Becares J.,SEO BirdLife | Villero D.,Center Tecnologic Forestal Of Catalonia | Brotons L.,Center Tecnologic Forestal Of Catalonia | And 2 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Protected areas play a key role in the preservation of biodiversity, but their implementation at sea is lagged behind terrestrial environments, especially in offshore areas. Here we describe the identification of foraging hotspots off the Mediterranean Iberian coast using three Procellariiform species as examples, and assess the stability of these sites. Then, we show how these foraging hotspots contributed to the delimitation of marine Important Bird Areas (IBAs). The whole process consisted of: (1) seabird data collection (extensive boat-based surveys and seabird tracking, conducted in 1999-2010) and compilation of relevant spatial descriptors of the marine environment; (2) species distribution modeling (SDM) aimed at identifying areas with high habitat quality for the different seabird species (3); identification and delineation of the main seabird hotspots, based on models, supported by direct seabird data, and mediated by expert opinion; (4) application of BirdLife International IBA criteria for hotspot validation; and (5) combination of hotspots from different species to set the final limits of the marine IBAs. This approach allowed to identify a series of hotspots for pelagic species in the study area, and provided nice examples of stability assessment, which slightly differed in performance between seabird species. They contributed to the Spanish marine IBA inventory, which is in the process of receiving legal protection. Future work should be directed at confirming the stability of the marine IBAs in the long term, and to address the development of management plans to make effective the protection of these sites. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | SEO BirdLife
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Marine pollution bulletin | Year: 2013

The quantification of entanglements of megafauna with plastic debris at sea is difficult to assess for several reasons, such as detection and reporting biases. We used standardized vessel based counts to describe and quantify the occurrence of marine debris entanglements in northern gannets Morus bassanus at five of its main wintering areas. We observed 34 entangled birds in total, representing 0.93% of all gannets counted (n=3672 individuals). The incidence of entanglements largely varied geographically, being exceptionally high off Mauritania (20.2% of the birds in late spring). Most birds affected were immature (1.88% compared to 0.06% in adults), which in turn represented 52.4% of all the birds. Entanglements in the lower bill mandible were the most frequent, mainly with red-colored plastic objects. Further research is urgently needed to evaluate the impact of entanglements at the population level and its occurrence in other marine species, and to seek potential solutions.

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