Virginia Morera-Pujol

Virginia Morera-Pujol
University College Dublin | UCD · School of Biology and Environmental Science

About

28
Publications
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121
Citations

Publications

Publications (28)
Article
Full-text available
Disturbance ecology refers to the study of discrete processes that disrupt the structure or dynamics of an ecosystem. Such processes can, therefore, affect wildlife species ecology, including those that are important pathogen hosts. We report on an observational before-and-after study on the association between forest clearfelling and bovine tuberc...
Article
Human modification of landscapes and associated disturbances may facilitate the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases. Policy‐makers need better understanding of the link between anthropogenic disturbances and wildlife disease hosts at the interface of human society and the natural environment, e.g. agriculture, forestry and aquaculture. Empiri...
Preprint
The use of georeferenced information on the presence of a species to predict its distribution across a geographic area is one of the most common tools in management and conservation. The collection of high-quality presence-absence data through structured surveys is, however, expensive, and managers usually have more abundant low-quality presence-on...
Presentation
Full-text available
In colonial seabirds, ecological divergence may occur in the absence of physical barriers, driven by the isolation of populations due to distance, or the adaptation to local environment. In migratory seabirds, the geographic segregation among breeding populations can persist year round (i.e., strong migratory connectivity) when populations breeding...
Article
For centuries, human activities have altered the population dynamics of wildlife. New anthropogenic food sources provide a predictable and abundant food supply that often induces very significant changes in the size, distribution, and behaviour of many populations, with ultimate consequences on the structure and functioning of natural ecosystems. H...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying important sites for biodiversity is vital for conservation and management. However, there is a lack of accessible, easily‐applied tools that enable practitioners to delineate important sites for highly mobile species using established criteria. We introduce the R package ‘track2KBA’, a tool to identify important sites at the population...
Article
Light‐level geolocators are popular bio‐logging tools, with advantageous sizes, longevity, and affordability. Biologists tracking seabirds often presume geolocator spatial accuracies between 186‐202 km from previously‐innovative, yet taxonomically, spatially, and computationally limited, studies. Using recently developed methods, we investigated wh...
Article
Full-text available
A new smart approach to monitor deer populations in Ireland and setting the scene for evidence-based deer management
Article
Full-text available
The conservation of migratory marine species, including pelagic seabirds, is challenging because their movements span vast distances frequently beyond national jurisdictions. Here, we aim to identify important aggregations of seabirds in the North Atlantic to inform ongoing regional conservation efforts. Using tracking, phenology, and population da...
Article
Full-text available
While there are a number of sources of data describing deer distribution in Ireland, they are stored in different locations and formats, they have been collected at different spatial and temporal scales with inconsistent methodology. The SMARTDEER project aims to collate all existing spatial data on deer across the country and most importantly to i...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory marine species cross political borders and enter the high seas, where the lack of an effective global management framework for biodiversity leaves them vulnerable to threats. Here, we combine 10,108 tracks from 5775 individual birds at 87 sites with data on breeding population sizes to estimate the relative year-round importance of nation...
Article
Sexual segregation in foraging strategies has been little studied in marine species with slight Sexual Size Dimorphism (SSD), particularly regarding the role of environmental conditions and fishery activities. Sexual differences in fishery attendance are of particular concern because uneven mortality associated with bycatch may exacerbate impacts i...
Presentation
Las actividades pesqueras y acuícolas representan uno de los mayores impactos antropogénicos sobre los ecosistemas marinos. En España, durante la pasada década, se creó una amplia Red de Áreas Marinas Protegidas (RAMPE) para minimizar dicho impacto; sin embargo, su eficacia todavía está por determinar. Aquí evaluamos el papel de la actual RAMPE en...
Article
Despite its importance for ecology and conservation, we are still far from understanding how environmental variability interacts with intrinsic factors and individual specialization to determine trophic strategies of long-lived taxa, mostly due to difficulties in studying the same animals over extended periods. Here, by yearly consistently sampling...
Article
Full-text available
Food is a main limiting factor for most populations. As a consequence, knowledge about the diet of invasive alien species determines the design of control measures. The Monk and Rose-ringed parakeets are two typical species of successful invasive parrots that are highly appreciated by people. Although some observations suggest that Monk parakeets r...
Article
Full-text available
Using geolocator-immersion loggers, we tracked for the first time the migration of one Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris borealis fledgling, from its breeding colony in the Canary Islands, and along its first year of life. The juvenile bird initially followed the same migratory path as the adults but visited different areas of the Central and the South...
Article
In predator populations, changes in foraging behaviour in response to spatio-temporal variability of prey are expected. Prey depletion might cause trophic niche widening in generalist species, but not in specialists, which are expected to increase their foraging effort without diet shifts. In sympatric species feeding on similar resources, reduced...
Presentation
Foraging distributions of colonial central place foragers are shaped not only by environmental factors but also by population parameters: larger colonies will deplete resources around the colony and will therefore have larger foraging areas, but parapatric competition will often cause spatial segregation, leading to little overlap among foraging ar...
Book
Full-text available
This book has been published by the Spanish Society of Ornithology (SEO/BirdLife) in the framework of the MIGRA programme. In this work we analyse the movement ecology and at-sea behaviour of two related seabird species under conservation concern: the Scopoli's and the Cory's Shearwater. It focuses on Spanish populations, covering the entire distri...
Presentation
Conservation policies for the protection of marine biodiversity are being implemented in many international management treaties worldwide. The process of identification of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is often based on the spatial preference of threatened species, such as many marine predators. Multi-colony tracking studies comprising a wide geogr...
Presentation
It is well known that colonial breeders are spatially constrained by their need to return to the colony to attend their rearing duties. This behaviour results in a decreasing density of foraging birds with the distance to the colony. In addition, the effect of intraspecific competition, which grows with colony size, also increases the length of for...
Presentation
Foraging strategies of colonial central-place foragers, such as breading seabirds, are spatially constrained by their need to return to the colony to attend to their rearing duties and by a denso-dependent competition for resources that increases with colony size. Moreover, in areas where the foraging ranges of several breeding colonies potentially...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the spread of Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) in wild birds, particularly in those with opportunistic feeding behavior, is of interest for elucidating the epidemiological involvement of these birds in the maintenance and dissemination of the parasite. Overall, from 2009 to 2011, we collected sera from 525 seagull chicks (Yellow-legged g...
Data
Data about the chick gulls analyzed. Species; MAT: results (positive/negative) of the analysis for the detection of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii; Titer of the antibodies; year of sampling; age (in days) of the analyzed animal; colony of origin; main food source of the chick analyzed. (DOCX)
Poster
Full-text available
Según la hipótesis clásica de exclusión competitiva, dos especies ecológicamente similares criando en simpatría deberían segregar su nicho trófico para seguir coexistiendo. Además, se esperaría que una especie generalista cuando compite con una especialista sea capaz de diversificar sus presas y ampliar su nicho trófico para evitar la competencia....

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
MAVA Species Project on Yelkouan shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) Project goal: Distribution (breeding and non-breeding) of Puffinus yelkouan along the Mediterranean, including Greece Target species: The Yelkouan shearwater is endemic to the Mediterranean with outposts in the Black Sea, but its precise distribution is not well known and numbers are disputed. It is listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive and classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List (BirdLife International, 2018) as a result of recent population declines, and reports indicate that survival rates may have decreased in recent years. The species is known to breed in Greece on islands and islets in Aegean Sea, but data on key sites and long-term regular monitoring at the major breeding colonies are scarce and patchy. Sampling/actions: The sampling includes deploying both geolocators (to infer at-sea activity) and gps loggers (to infer movements). Additionally, we will also leave some geolocators year round in some birds to assess their migration (at metapopulation scale). Complimentarily, we will collaborate with local fishermen at sampling site, and agree with them to carry a gps that can last for up to 3 months. The loggers can be attached to any place of the boat with tape (loggers should stay all period in the boat). The final idea is gather knowledge on the general fishing areas, timings, and the potential overlaps with Yelkouan shearwaters. Blood samples as well feather samples will be collected for stable isotope analysis so as to infer trophic ecology and wintering areas respectively.
Project
Seabirds are key organisms in sea-land Spanish National Parks Research, because most of them are protected threatened species and included in the Annex I of the EU Birds Directive. Despite some research has been done on population dynamics and threats on land, the information about the relationship with environmental traits and particularly the movements of seabirds at sea remain unknown. However, this information is critical to define or revaluate the limits and zoning of protected areas. This project will study movements at sea of Cory's/Scopoli's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) as model species in PN Cabrera, PN Timanfaya and PN Islas Atlánticas. State-of-the-art devices and analytical tools will be used in order to know their foraging and resting grounds, the main corridors between both, diet composition, interannual consistency, and fishing interactions. Knowledge produced by this project will allow to predict seabird movements facing environmental variability, as well as to evaluate threats at sea. Finally, this information will be really useful in order to revaluate edges and planned zoning of sea-land Spanish National Parks.