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Palazon S.,Ramaderia | Melero Y.,University of Barcelona | Gomez A.,TRAGSATEC | Lopez De Luzuriaga J.,Asociacion Vison Europeo | And 2 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2012

Abstract Human intervention is the main cause of the decline of the Critically Endangered European mink Mustela lutreola. In this study we analysed the main causes of direct human-caused mortality of the species in Spain. A total of 47 mortality records were obtained for the period 1950-1989, and 145 for 1990-2008. There was temporal variation in the cause of death, with trapping and shooting being the most common causes of mortality in 1950-1989 and road-kills in 1990-2008. In the case of road-kills there was variation related to road type. Males were more affected by road-kills than females, especially during the mating season when they range more widely. Our results indicate that there has been a change in human social behaviour and in people's awareness of the species, with a reduction in European mink captured and shot but an increase in mortality on roads. © 2012 Fauna & Flora International. Source


Botias C.,Centro Apicola Regional CAR | Martin-Hernandez R.,Centro Apicola Regional CAR | Martin-Hernandez R.,Institute Recursos Humanos para la Ciencia y la Tecnologia INCRECYT | Garrido-Bailon E.,Centro Apicola Regional CAR | And 5 more authors.
Research in Veterinary Science | Year: 2012

Microsporidiosis caused by infection with Nosema apis or Nosema ceranae has become one of the most widespread diseases of honey bees and can cause important economic losses for beekeepers. Honey can be contaminated by spores of both species and it has been reported as a suitable matrix to study the field prevalence of other honey bee sporulated pathogens. Historical honey sample collections from the CAR laboratory (Centro Apícola Regional) were analyzed by PCR to identify the earliest instance of emergence, and to determine whether the presence of Nosema spp. in honey was linked to the spread of these microsporidia in honey bee apiaries. A total of 240 frozen honey samples were analyzed by PCR and the results compared with rates of Nosema spp. infection in worker bee samples from different years and geographical areas. The presence of Nosema spp. in hive-stored honey from naturally infected honey bee colonies (from an experimental apiary) was also monitored, and although collected honey bees resulted in a more suitable sample to study the presence of microsporidian parasites in the colonies, a high probability of finding Nosema spp. in their hive-stored honey was observed. The first honey sample in which N. ceranae was detected dates back to the year 2000. In subsequent years, the number of samples containing N. ceranae tended to increase, as did the detection of Nosema spp. in adult worker bees. The presence of N. ceranae as early as 2000, long before generalized bee depopulation and colony losses in 2004 may be consistent with a long incubation period for nosemosis type C or related with other unknown factors. The current prevalence of nosemosis, primarily due to N. ceranae, has reached epidemic levels in Spain as confirmed by the analysis of worker honey bees and commercial honey. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Melero Y.,University of Barcelona | Santulli G.,University of Barcelona | Gomez A.,TRAGSATEC | Gosalbez J.,University of Barcelona | And 2 more authors.
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2012

We studied the morphology of American mink Neovison vison in five out of the six introduced populations in Spain. The spatial and temporal variation of body weight (BW), body length (BL), tail length, hind-foot length and ear length were analysed. Temporal trends in BW and BL in relation to years since mink introduction were also analyzed. In addition, we tested the effect of sex, age (juvenile, subadult and adult) and age-sex interaction, on each parameter. Morphological parameters differed between populations, illustrating the high variability of body size of American mink in different environments, and the phenotypic plasticity of the species. Annual variations were synchronized between populations, suggesting a large-scale effect on all of them. BW and BL showed a decreasing trend in both males and females in relation to years since introduction. This decrease may be related to mink's diet. Differences in sex and age were found, pointing to sexual dimorphism in adults, subadults and juveniles. The dimorphism in non-adult individuals suggests that subadult males may have a competitive advantage from subadult females in feeding and/or hunting on bigger prey from an early age (resource partitioning hypothesis). © 2012 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde. Source


Podra M.,University of Barcelona | Podra M.,Tallinn University | Gomez A.,TRAGSATEC | Palazon S.,University of Barcelona
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2013

An experimental release of the European mink (Mustela lutreola) was carried out in the Salburua wetland in North Spain between 2008 and 2010. A partial removal of feral American mink (Neovison vison) was done preceding the release. The survival and the cause of death of each of 27 captive-bred minks were studied during five months after release. Only 22 % of the minks (N = 6) survived during whole radio-tracking period. Predation was the most significant cause of mortality (76 %, N = 16). Seven European minks (33 % of mortality) were killed by another "mink-size" carnivore-the causes of death of these individuals were of particular interest to clarify possible impact of a few remained American mink to released European mink. We used three criteria to identify the exact causes of death of these seven minks: 1. Comparison of the distances of bite marks with the inter-canine distances of small carnivores, 2. Site descriptions and signs of predators and 3. Density of carnivores within the study area. None of the criteria taken separately allowed the complete identification of the predator species. Summing up the results of all three criteria, a male American mink was found to be the most likely predator of at least six released European minks (29 % of overall mortality and 38 % of predated minks). Our results show that the presence of American mink, even if the number is estimated to be low, may seriously limit the success of reinforcement or reintroduction of the European mink. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source


Huhn F.,University of Santiago de Compostela | von Kameke A.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Allen-Perkins S.,TRAGSATEC | Montero P.,Intecmar | And 2 more authors.
Continental Shelf Research | Year: 2012

Horizontal Lagrangian surface transport is studied in the Ria de Vigo, an estuary in NW Spain with tidal and wind-driven dynamics. Surface drifters and the surface flow from a high-resolution 3-D hydrodynamic model are compared to each other. In particular, our analysis is based on a classical comparison of real and artificial trajectories and on Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) defined as ridges in spatial fields of the Finite-Time Lyapunov Exponent (FTLE). The trajectories of the drifters are in good agreement with the prediction of the model in two out of four cases. Further, FTLE ridges computed from the model velocity fields are found to mark transport barriers for the drifters. The results indicate that the model is able to represent the general circulation in the estuary. Main patterns in the Lagrangian surface transport in the model are shown for two typical meteorological situations, north wind and south wind. They can be interpreted as an imprint of a 3-dimensional circulation pattern in the Ria de Vigo and reveal in detail the separation of the time-dependent in- and outflow at the surface of the estuary. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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