lunes, 22 de diciembre de 2014

Be a bird !

The Spanish ornithological Society (SEO) has organized a festival in which birds and nature are the central theme of artistic performances. Dance, poetry, music...

Ana Payo from the GEP gave her artistic contribution and introduced the other artists. Videos and information here

miércoles, 17 de diciembre de 2014

New Publications !!

Rivas, M., Santidrián Tomillo, P., Diéguez Uribeondo, J. and Marco, A. Leatherback hatchling sea-finding in response to artificial lighting: Interaction between wavelength and moonlight.

© Dawn Witherington |
Over the last decades, growing human populations have led to the rising occupation of coastal areas over the globe causing light pollution. For this reason, it is important to assess how this impact threatens endangered wildlife. Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) face many threats of anthropogenic origin including light pollution on nesting beaches. However, little is known about the specific effects. In this study we studied the effect of different light wavelengths (orange, red, blue, green, yellow and white lights) on hatchling orientation under the presence and absence of moonlight by analyzing: (i) the mean angle of orientation, (ii) crawling duration, and (iii) track patterns. Hatchling orientation towards the sea was always better under controlled conditions. In the absence of moonlight, leatherback hatchlings were phototaxically attracted to the experimental focus of light (misoriented) for the colours blue, green, yellow and white lights. Orange and red lights caused a lower misorientation than other colors, and orange lights produced the lowest disrupted orientation (disorientation). On nights when moonlight was present, hatchlings were misorientated under blue and white artificial lights. Crawling duration was low for misoriented hatchlings and high for the disoriented individuals. Our conclusion to this is that hatchlings can detect and be impacted by a wide range of the light spectrum and we recommend avoiding the presence of artificial lights on nesting beaches. Additionally, actions to control and mitigate artificial lighting are especially important during dark nights when moonlight is absent

Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 463 (2015) 143–149

Dornfeld, T, Robinson, N. J, Santidrián Tomillo, P., Paladino,  · Frank V. Ecology of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles at Playa Grande, Costa Rica

© Dawn Witherington |
Olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) have two distinct mating systems: independent (solitary) and synchronized and mass assemblages (arribadas). Arribada nesting beaches have been the focus of most research, even though solitary nesting is the most common behavior. The purpose of this study was to assess the contribution of solitary nesting turtles to the olive ridley turtle population. We studied the nesting ecology of solitary nesting olive ridley turtles within the national park Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas (PNMB) in Playa Grande, Costa Rica (10°20′N, 85°51′W) and compared these turtles to nearby arribada turtles. Between 2009/2010 and 2013/2014, an estimated 933 nesting activities occurred within PNMB. This number of turtles has not changed significantly since 1995. During this study, 285 females were tagged; of these, 30 females were encountered nesting on more than one occasion. Significantly, more females emerged (31.1 % of tracks) during the third-quarter moon, often a predictor. of arribada events, than any other moon phase. However, there was no significant change in nesting activity at PNMB during nearby arribada events. Mean hatching success (78.5 ± 23.4 % SD) was higher, and incubation temperatures were lower (ranging from 28.3 to 33.4 °C) than at nearby arribada beaches. Thus, clutches are relatively successful and may produce males. These data suggest that solitary olive ridley turtles are important. Currently, PNMB protects turtles from October to March; however, hatching success was highest and 40 % of nesting activity occurred during the rainy season (August–November). More turtles could be protected by increasing the temporal scope of park protection.

Marine Biology: DOI 10.1007/s00227-014-2583-7

jueves, 11 de diciembre de 2014

lunes, 1 de diciembre de 2014

CMR Workshop ended

The 2014 Introductory course on CMRR analyses at the IMEDEA (CSIC/UIB - Mallorca) has ended. Thanks to all participants!! 
It is always very stimulating to meet new researchers and to find a way to address new biological questions. It has been a very interesting week.
 A particualr thank to Dr. Olivier Devineau and the IRSAE for the help during the course. 
See you next year, last week of November, as always.

miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2014

Award !

Prof D. Oro has been awarded by the Generalitat Valenciana for his work and the work of the G.E.P. on Wildlife Conservation.  Congrats!!
More here

viernes, 14 de noviembre de 2014

Seabirdstagram in action!

Seabirdstagram, the recently created free mobile App tool to facilitate the transfer of information on by-catch events, starts giving the first images of seabirds at sea!!

Find below the first image received and the location of the event.

And the map...

Many thanks to the fisherman who used the app!!!

Collaboration between researchers and fishermen surely will be a major step towards a better knowledge and Conservation of the Seas.

lunes, 10 de noviembre de 2014

Capture-Recapture Workshop at MUSE

The 2014 capture-recapture workshop at the MUSE, in callaboration with Dr. Simone Tenan ended last week. 

All went well ....depsite a single, very stubborn participant.

Thanks to all.

jueves, 30 de octubre de 2014

Caught on camera in Portugal!

Pedro Moreira and António Martins sent us this picture taken in Portugal.
The bird has been ringed by us in Mallorca in 2010 as a breeder, but apparently she prefers the Portuguese shores. Thank you very much Pedro and António. Nice pic!

If you have more of gulls ringed with an orange PVC ring and black alphanumeric code, send it to us (or if you have it, use the app seabirdstagram)

miércoles, 22 de octubre de 2014

Nearly done

Lizard October campaign is coming to an end with only two more days to go. Thank to Pelopantón we have a pic of our biological station (above). Yep! It's a tough job in an hostile environment .. but hey, someone has to do it !

domingo, 12 de octubre de 2014

Fledgling !!

It is time for young Scopoli´s shearwater to leave their nests. 

They will go to the open ocean, for the first time, and possibly they will be back to breed in 4 to 7 years. 

Have a nice journey !!!!

lunes, 29 de septiembre de 2014

New Publication !

Sergio, F., Taferna A., De Stephanis, R., López Jiménez, L., Blas, J., Tavecchia, G., Preatoni, D., and Hiraldo, F., 2014: 'Individual improvements and selective mortality shape lifelong migratory performance'. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature13696

Billions of organisms, from bacteria to humans, migrate each year and research on their migration biology is expanding rapidly through ever more sophisticated remote sensing technologies. However, little is known about how migratory performance develops through life for any organism. To date, age variation has been almost systematically simplified into . These comparisons have regularly highlighted better migratory performance by adults compared with juveniles, but it is unknown whether such variation is gradual or abrupt and whether it is driven by improvements within the individual, by selective mortality of poor performers, or both.
Here we exploit the opportunity offered by long-term monitoring of individuals through Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite tracking to combine within-individual and cross-sectional data on 364 migration episodes from 92 individuals of a raptorial bird, aged 1–27 years old. We show that the development of migratory behaviour follows a consistent trajectory, more gradual and prolonged than previously appreciated, and that this is promoted by both individual improvements and selective mortality, mainly operating in early life and during the pre-breeding migration. Individuals of different age used different travelling tactics and varied in their ability to exploit tailwinds or to cope with wind drift. All individuals seemed aligned along a race with their contemporary peers, whose outcome was largely determined by the ability to depart early, affecting their subsequent recruitment, reproduction and survival. Understanding how climate change and human action can affect the migration of younger animals may be the key to managing and forecasting the declines of many threatened migrants.

See also at IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB) and IMEDEA Divulga here 

martes, 23 de septiembre de 2014

GEP at the radio !

At "Balears Fa Ciencia" a new monologue by Ana on Synchony here (at min. 46) and a new comment by Alejandro on our origin here (at min. 11).

jueves, 18 de septiembre de 2014

New Publication

Sergio,F., Schmitz, O. J., Krebs, C.J., Holt, R.D., Heithaus, M. R., Wirsing, A. J., Ripple, W. J., Ritchie, E., Ainley, D., Oro, D., Jhala, Y.,Hiraldo, F. and Korpimmäki, E. 2014 .Towards a cohesive, holistic view of top predation: a definition, synthesis and perspective Oikos, DOI: 10.1111/oik.01468

Research on the ecology of top predators – upper trophic level consumers that are relatively free from predation once they reach adult size – has provided regular contributions to general ecology and is a rapidly expanding and increasingly experimental, multidisciplinary and technological endeavour. Yet, an exponentially expanding literature coupled with rapid disintegration into specialized, disconnected subfields for study (e.g. vertebrate predators versus invertebrate predators, community ecology versus biological control etc.) increasingly means that we are losing a coherent, integrated understating of the role and importance of these species in ecosystems. This process of canalization is likely to hinder sharing of scientific discovery and continued progress, especially as there is a growing need to understand the generality of the top–down forcing, as demonstrated for some members of this group. Here, we propose ways to facilitate synthesis by promoting changes in mentality and awareness among specialists through increased debate and collaboration, conceptual reviews and a series of exemplary case studies. The strategy will rely on the collective contribution by all scientists in the field and will strive to consolidate and formalise top-order predation as a holistic, cohesive, cross-taxonomical field of research studying the ecology, evolution and behaviour of apex predators and their capability to exert top–down forcing on lower trophic levels. (Photo: F. Sergio)

sábado, 13 de septiembre de 2014

Caught on camera !!!!

A Scopoli's shearwater, marked by the GEP with a Geolocator, caught on camera by Maties Rebassa. Well done Maties !! 

To send more pics :
To know more about Scopoli´s shearwater and data-loggers read here

jueves, 11 de septiembre de 2014

New at the Population Ecology Group (GEP)

Giulia Bastianelli, student at the Unidad Mixta de Investigación en Biodiversidad (UO/CSIC/PA), joined the GEP for three months. Giulia is working on the influence of the altitudinal gradient on the demography of passerines.

lunes, 8 de septiembre de 2014

martes, 26 de agosto de 2014

GEP and THE BIG VAN THEORY on tour around Cantabria !

The Big Van Theory, a group of young scientists from different disciplines —physics, maths, biochemistry— that explore new possibilities on science communication. Since they met in the first edition of FAMELAB Spain (2013) they have been on tour with their scientific monologues trying to bring real science to general public. A great show to learn and laugh!  

Next  week Ana Payo will join The Big Van Theory in their  tour around Cantabria : Wednesday 3 September at 7 pm at UIMP, Santander and Thursday 4 September at 8 pm,  at the Centro Musical Ángel García Basoco, Castro Urdiales.  Watch out our gulls are on tour!!

sábado, 9 de agosto de 2014

The ecological detective in video

I had the opportunity recently to give a talk at the Universities of Vigo, Santiago and Coruña with the excuse of the presentation of my popular science book "El detective ecológico: reflexiones sobre historia natural". Despite the title of the book my reflections are on ecology, evolution and conservation biology although directly inspired by the observation of the natural world in the field. I did not cover exactly the content of the book in my talks, not to upset would be readers, but I talked about some of my main interests and concerns in these three big fields. You may listen and watch the entire conference if you please under the following:



The video was recorded at the University of Vigo and I thank Xose Holgado for his good work with this. I am also thankful to Dr. Alberto Velando for organizing the talk.

(Alejandro Martínez-Abraín, PhD)

lunes, 21 de julio de 2014

The Population Ecology Group ON AIR !

Balears Fa Ciencia On Air Monolgue Seabirdstagram18th-19th of August at "Informatiu Vespre" y "Balears Fa Ciencia" with E. Culat- IB3Radio:

  • 20h00 José-Manuel Igual: Seabirdstagram and the monitoring of seabird populations (min35)
  • 11h00 Alejandro Martinez-Abrain: Evolution Underwater (form min42)
  • 12h00 Ana Bonilla and Giacomo Tavecchia: Introducing Seabirdstagram (min8)
  • 13h00 Samuel Pinya : the Ferret in Mallorca (min3)
  • 13h45 A new monologue by Ana Payo (min48)