Virginia Morandini

Virginia Morandini
The National Museum of Natural Sciences

PhD

About

50
Publications
11,836
Reads
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322
Citations
Citations since 2017
36 Research Items
307 Citations
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Introduction
The overall goal of my research is to improve our understanding about which factors regulate population dynamics of long-lived species at a metapopulation level, in order to manage species for conservation. I use the conservation of sentinel species as a surrogate of ecosystems health. My research in populations ecology has been focused on three main areas including population dynamics modelling, animal physiology and, microbiology and emerging diseases.
Additional affiliations
November 2017 - May 2022
Oregon State University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
April 2012 - May 2012
September 2011 - July 2012
September 2010 - October 2010

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
Energy infrastructure is expanding at a global scale and can represent a major threat to wildlife populations. Power lines are one of the main sources of human-induced avian mortality due to electrocution or collision, but many species use electricity pylons as a structure for nesting. Pylon nesting results in human-wildlife conflict because it can...
Chapter
Full-text available
As mentioned in previous chapters, electrocution can occur in two ways: by contact between two conductors or, more frequently, by contact between a conductor and an earthed metallic structure (the crossarm itself or a ground wire), and birds are among the groups most seriously affected (Figures 88 and 89). Given the distance between supports, the s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Birds of prey frequently feature in reintroductions and the hacking technique is typically used. Hacking involves removing large nestlings from donor populations, transferring them to captivity, feeding them ad libitum. Potentially, via the hacking method, stress of captivity and disruption of parental feeding may be detrimental. Alternatively, pro...
Article
Full-text available
Avian mortality is one of the most negative impacts of wind energy. Consequently, techniques that effectively reduce avian collision rates are necessary. One of such method is the stop-turbine system, otherwise known as a Turbine Shutdown System (TSS). Here, we analyzed changes in mortality during 15 years, starting two years before the application...
Article
Full-text available
Chen et al. (Polar Biology, 43(11):1769–1781) recently reported lagged, region-specific responses of Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) abundance to environmental variability in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Their study suggests that lags are important toward understanding Adélie penguin population change. Though we agree with many of their findings,...
Article
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Parent–offspring conflict theory predicts that offspring seek to prolong the parental care period, while parents strive to shorten it as much as possible. Transition to the crèche phase in penguins involves changes in the dynamic of parental investment in chicks, and thus may be modulated by interests that benefit parent or offspring. We explored p...
Article
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In colonial seabirds, differences in the nesting or fledging success have been associated with differences in nest position within the breeding aggregation (subcolony): less successful nests are located on the periphery, with more successful nests closer to the center. For Pygoscelid penguins, central nests tend to be larger, with nest size being a...
Article
Physiology can either be a product of or affect the behavior and ecology of individual animals. Blood plasma chemistry contains many components that are indicative of several aspects of a bird’s physiological state at the time of sampling. Plasma chemistry is routinely used in clinical settings. However, despite its potential application in ecologi...
Article
Plumage colour variation occurs widely among bird species and is often associated with individual fitness. More specifically, colouration can affect thermoregulatory ability, mate selection and conspicuousness during foraging. Colour aberrations can be caused by genetic mutations, dietary imbalances, environmental conditions or disease and are rare...
Article
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Mixed-species colonies occur frequently, especially among seabirds, and may provide mutual benefits among associated species including antipredator advantages. The "protector" species in such associations may provide early warning signals or by aggressively defending their own nests, may expel predators from the area. We explored costs and benefits...
Article
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The most common ecological response to climate change is the shifts in species distribution ranges. Nevertheless, landscape fragmentation compromises the ability of limited dispersal species to move following these climate changes. Building connected environments that enable species to track climate changes is an ultimate goal for biodiversity cons...
Article
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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This pathogen has spread rapidly across the world, causing high numbers of deaths and significant social and economic impacts. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus with a suggested zoonotic origin with the potential for cross...
Preprint
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread rapidly to most parts of the world, causing high numbers of deaths and significant social and economic impacts. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus with a suggested zoonotic origin and with the potential for cross-s...
Article
Natal sex‐ratio variation is a central concept in population demography. When males and females are equally costly to rear, the population sex ratio should be 1:1, but if they differ in cost, more of the cheaper sex should be produced. According the Age Dependent Sex Ratio Hypothesis, younger breeders should produce more chicks of the cheaper sex....
Article
Full-text available
Bird diverter devices were developed to improve power line visibility for birds and reduce their risk of collision. However, differences in efficacy between types of devices, and in some cases conflicting results, place in question the ability of these devices to reduce collision risk to birds. Here, we investigated the efficacy of three types of f...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the causes of disease in Antarctic wildlife is crucial, as many of these species are already threatened by environmental changes brought about by climate change. In recent years, Antarctic penguins have been showing signs of an unknown pathology: a feather disorder characterised by missing feathers, resulting in exposed skin. During t...
Article
The Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti) disappeared from Africa as a breeding species in the 1960s coincident with a general decline of their populations in the Iberian Peninsula. Because of a combination of successful conservation actions and a general change in human attitudes, the Spanish Imperial Eagle population has been increasing in Ib...
Article
With recent increases in the numbers of reintroduction projects, it has become crucial to know the main factors that allow colonization of new areas and prevent the extinction of small and reintroduced populations. Dispersal is one of the most important phenomena in population biology with consequences to the proportion of individuals that keep bre...
Article
We used biochemical analyses of blood to quantify nutritional status and a standardized test to measure the response to a novel object (bold-shy test). Our aim was to examine the relationship between nutritional status and behavioral responses in nestlings of Black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys). A total of 66 nestlings from Saunders...
Article
Full-text available
The tick Ixodes uriae is an ectoparasite widely distributed among seabirds throughout circumpolar regions, usually associated with seabird colonies. Nevertheless, potential effects of infestations, especially in chicks, are not well documented. In this article, we studied factors associated with probability and intensity of infestations in Black-br...
Article
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In 2017/18, we recorded multiple instances of Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae nests containing three chicks at Cape Crozier, Ross Island, Antarctica. In one sub-colony, 0.67 % of nests had three chicks, or two chicks and one egg. We found that some Adelie Penguin pairs were willing to brood three chicks, as well as chicks that were not their own....
Article
Full-text available
• The present biodiversity crisis has led to an increasing number of reintroduction programs, and this conservation method is likely to be increasingly used in the future, especially in the face of climate change. Many fundamental questions in population ecology are focused on the mechanisms through which populations escape extinction. • Population...
Article
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Hematological studies concerned with the determination of normal values of blood parameters in animals have been increasing. However, studies on normal concentration of blood constituents of free-living birds still are not very common, and less than 5% of the species of birds have been analyzed, mostly in captivity. Avian hematology has been used i...
Article
To provide an easy and reliable work tool to identify the sex of Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) chicks, we weighed and measured 95 nestlings in the crèche phase during 24-31 January 2017 on the Falkland Islands, Argentina. Sex was subsequently determined using DNA analyses of blood from the same individuals. Significant differences were f...
Article
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The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is an emblematic example of conservation. Currently, the species is progressively recovering in population size and range after dramatic reductions as a consequence of human persecution and the use of pesticides in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Here, we analysed the population trend and productivity in relat...
Article
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Supplementary feeding is a common practice to raise reproductive output in raptors and other species; nevertheless, its application in conservation has only recently been discussed critically. Here, we analyse the effect of supplementary feeding in territorial raptors, taking advantage of two long-term datasets for the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquil...
Article
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Blood chemical reference values and variations in them in long-lived endangered birds are of metabolic, veterinary, ecological and/or taxonomic interest. In the present study, we for the first time provide such reference values and test the influence of sex, age, and nest location on up to 11 plasma values in nesting black-browed albatrosses (Thala...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated juvenile dispersal strategy of a territorial long-lived species with deferred maturity, the Spanish imperial eagle, Aquila adalberti. Here we used a reintroduction programme as an experimental approach to test separately predictions of the two hypotheses about natal philopatry: social attraction and local experience. We determined t...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the distribution of juvenile dispersal distances of a territorial long-lived species with deferred maturity, the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti). Here we used a reintroduction program as an experimental approach to test predictions of different hypotheses about the distribution of juvenile dispersal distances: competition...
Article
Capsule: In Black-browed Albatrosses Thalassarche melanophris nutritional condition is correlated between parents and their offspring. Aims: To test resource allocation hypotheses analysing the relationship between parental and offspring nutritional condition. Methods: We measured blood chemistry parameters related with nutritional condition in 24...
Article
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Many threatened species in Europe have been expanding their distributions during recent decades owing to protection measures that overcome historical human activity that has limited their distributions. Range expansion has come about via two processes, natural expansion from existing range and reintroductions to new ranges. Reintroductions may prov...
Article
Full-text available
Reintroductions have been increasingly used for species restoration and it seems that this conservation tool is going to be more used in the future. Nevertheless, there is not a clear consensus about the better procedure for that, consequently a better knowledge of how to optimize this kind of management is needed. Here we examined the dynamics of...
Article
Full-text available
. To provide an easy and reliable work tool to identify the sex of individuals, adult Black-browed Albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys) (n = 31) were weighed and measured, and the sex determined using DNA analyses. Stepwise discriminant analysis showed upper bill depth and weight to be the best predictor variables for sex determination. This mode...
Article
The transient stage prior to definitive recruitment, known as juvenile dispersal, is thought to be under great evolutionary pressure and subject to a trade-off between associated costs and long-term benefits for fitness. Conspecific attraction has been shown to be an adaptive mechanism driving dispersal behaviours that may lead to negative density-...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A report about the electrocution of three Spanish Imperial Eagles (Aquila adalberti), seven Bonelli’s Eagles (Aquila fasciata) and one Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) in the Guelmim region, Morocco. The electrocuted eagles found in three days in autumn (Oct, Nov and Dec) 2015. More photographs of the electrocuted eagles: http://www.magornitho.org...
Article
Reintroductions have been increasingly used for species restoration and it seems that this conservation tool is going to be more used in the future. Consequently a better knowledge of consequences of this kind of management is needed. Several authors have found differences in dispersal distances among wild and reintroduced individuals ; although no...
Article
Full-text available
We report on an 11–year study of floater interference in a population of Spanish Imperial Eagles Aquila adalberti. We analyzed changes over the years in the productivity of 15 territories to test predictions of two hypotheses of density-dependent productivity in relation to the presence of floaters (birds without territories). According to the ‘int...
Article
Endangered species subjected to reintroduction programmes often occur as small and isolated populations with local high density and depressed fecundity. Variation in territory quality may lead to this low fecundity owing to increasing occupation of suboptimal territories as population density grows, known as the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis (HH...
Article
Transcurridos diez años de las primeras sueltas, la población de águila pescadora en Andalucía occidental se consolida con trece territorios ocupados, incluyendo nueve parejas reproductoras. Gracias a un proyecto de reintroducción, se ha abierto un prometedor futuro en el sur ibérico para una especie que no criaba en la España peninsular desde hací...
Article
Full-text available
Transcurridos diez años de las primeras sueltas, la población de águila pescadora en Andalucía occidental se consolida con trece territorios ocupados, incluyendo nueve parejas reproductoras. Gracias a un proyecto de reintroducción, se ha abierto un prometedor futuro en el sur ibérico para una especie que no criaba en la España peninsular desde hací...
Article
Full-text available
Siblicide may be “facultative” or “obligate”. When food resources provided by the parents are insufficient to rear a whole litter successfully, dominants may kill their subordinate siblings, either directly by physical damage, or indirectly through enforced starvation. This phenomenon is termed “facultative siblicide” and occurs in a wide range of...

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Project (1)
Project
This project has 3 main goals: 1) Determine how changing winter sea ice conditions in the Ross Sea affect the migration, behavior and survival of Adélie penguins and identify the carry-over effects (COEs) to subsequent reproduction, 2) Determine the interplay between extrinsic and intrinsic factors influencing COEs over multiple years of an individual’s lifetime, 3) Determine how climate change may affect population change at colonies via impacts to nesting habitat, interacting with individual quality and COEs.