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Biology, ecology and status of Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica: A critical review and research prospectus

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Abstract

The Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and of the four subspecies originally recognized, recent extinctions mean that only two now persist. Recent genetic analyses have cast doubt on the generally accepted taxonomy of the species, where four subspecies were distinguished by coat colour and horn morphology, and propose the distinction of two subspecies based on their mitochondrial DNA sequence polymorphism. These analyses make clear the need for a comprehensive revision that integrates genetic and morphological approaches resulting in a definitive description and differentiation of the subspecies. 2. Studies of ibex behavioural ecology and health status are scarce and generally descriptive. They should be implemented in an integrative way, taking into account the ecological requirements of the species, current population status, the presence of other sympatric wild and domestic ungulates, and the type of hunting regime and management in their distribution areas. 3. A natural expansion of the species is currently taking place. Ibexes are present and well established in all the main mountain ranges of the Spanish Iberian Peninsula, and have recently expanded their range into the north of Portugal. Other authors estimated a total population of more than 50 000 individuals 10 years ago, distributed over more than 60 000 km 2 , with an average population density of 2.7 ibex/km 2 . However, these estimates were obtained prior to the species' recovery from recent epizootics of sarcoptic mange and should be updated. Survey methods, mainly direct count-based methods, should be adjusted to suit mountainous conditions, where it is difficult to estimate accurately the surveyed surface. 4. A series of threats to ibex conservation have been identified, such as population over- abundance, disease prevalence and potential competition with domestic livestock and invasive ungulates, along with negative effects of human disturbance through tourism and hunting. 5. Applied ecological issues focused on the proper management of populations should be prioritized, along with the identification of current threats based on empirical, ecological data obtained from populations living in various ecological conditions in different regions.

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... It is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). Cabrera (1911) described four C. pyrenaica subspecies, which were as follows: C. p. lusitanica, now extinct, but which was formerly located in northern Portugal and southern Galicia; C. p. pyrenaica, in the Pyrenees, recently extinct (Pérez et al., 2002); C. p. hispanica, in the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula; and C. p. victoriae, mainly in central areas of Spain, such as the Gredos mountain range . ...
... Pérez et al. (2002) indicate that the whole Iberian population numbers nearly 50,000, which are distributed in more than 50 nuclei. The average population density was estimated to be 2.7 ibex/km 2 , ranging from 0.4 to more than 15.0 ibex/km 2 , with most records between 1.2 and 4.4 ibex/km 2 (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). ...
... The effect of overabundance on the host's condition may also indirectly increase the risk of infection, e.g., by limiting the host's immune capacity (Fernández-Llario et al., 2004). A further example is the case of outbreaks of sarcoptic mange amongst ibex in Spain (León-Vizcaino et al., 1999) and, more recently, in barbary sheep (González-Candela et al., 2004), as a result of high host densities and the limited availability of food (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). Other diseases can affect humans, one such example being Lyme's disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted by the ticks of the Ixodes genus and has intermediate ungulate hosts (Gordon et al., 2009). ...
Chapter
Habitat preferences are a crucial facet in the management of endangered wildlife species, but only recently have wildlife managers begun to fully realize the potential of information on species' habitat selection to solve pressing problems in the conservation and management of protected areas. Habitat choice is particularly important in extreme environments like hyperarid deserts, in which resources like food, water and cover are limited. A number of studies suggested that endangered Arabian gazelles (Gazella arabica) prefer wooded, mountainous terrain on the Arabian Peninsula, while avoiding open plains and sand deserts. However, this pattern could also be an artefact created by the tremendous hunting pressure experienced by the species and a retreat into areas inaccessible to humans. We studied habitat choice of the largest indigenous population of Arabian gazelles in the world, persisting on the Farasan Islands in the Red Sea, off the coast of Saudi Arabia. We measured the availability of different habitat types using GIS-based habitat mapping and the degree of utilization by gazelles, assessed via biannual transect route counts in the protected area. Our results suggest that former fields (beside Acacia grooves) are the preferred habitat type of Arabian gazelles, especially during the hot summer months. Our study further suggests that Acacia-wooded habitats are the originally preferred habitat type of this gazelle species (especially during the cooler winter months) rather than secondary habitats in remote mountainous areas on the Arabian Peninsula.
... Overexploitation, habitat fragmentation and competition with domestic livestock were the primary reasons for the extinction of two of the four subspecies (Cabrera, 1911;García-Gonz alez and Herrero, 1999) and the near extinction of the species. Since the 1970s, however, populations of the two extant subspecies of the Iberian wild goat have grown (Fandos, 1989) and have recolonized new areas and been reintroduced into others (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;P erez et al., 2002;Prada and Herrero, 2013), which prompted the IUCN to categorize the species as Least Concern (Herrero and P erez, 2008). The newly occupied areas include the mountains of Central Iberia, the mountains of the peri-Mediterranean arc, and the South bank of the Ebro River (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). ...
... Since the 1970s, however, populations of the two extant subspecies of the Iberian wild goat have grown (Fandos, 1989) and have recolonized new areas and been reintroduced into others (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;P erez et al., 2002;Prada and Herrero, 2013), which prompted the IUCN to categorize the species as Least Concern (Herrero and P erez, 2008). The newly occupied areas include the mountains of Central Iberia, the mountains of the peri-Mediterranean arc, and the South bank of the Ebro River (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). ...
... Habitat preferences of the Iberian wild goat include Holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) forests, pine (Pinus sp.) forests, broom (Cytisus sp.) scrublands, and the presence of rocky outcrops and cliffs is essential (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;Acevedo et al., 2007aAcevedo et al., , 2007bAlados, 1985;Alados, 1992a, 1992b;Gonzales, 1982). In the Middle Ebro Valley (MEV), Spain, however, are few mountain formations, few rocky areas and steppe vegetation is predominant, and there are few forests. ...
... The Iberian ibex is a gregarious species with virtually no natural predators in the study area, and thus territory defence and predation avoidance might not be as important as forage and roost selection for explaining space use. Indeed forage availability and the environmental factors that affect it, such as temperature, snow depth, rainfall and daylight, are key drivers of home range size in large herbivores [17,18], including mountain ibex [19,20]. Moreover, Iberian ibex live in mountainous areas with marked seasonality associated to altitudinal gradients, and track resource availability by performing progressive altitudinal movements [19]. ...
... Indeed forage availability and the environmental factors that affect it, such as temperature, snow depth, rainfall and daylight, are key drivers of home range size in large herbivores [17,18], including mountain ibex [19,20]. Moreover, Iberian ibex live in mountainous areas with marked seasonality associated to altitudinal gradients, and track resource availability by performing progressive altitudinal movements [19]. Therefore, we hypothesised that selection strength and resource availability are key drivers of space use and home range size. ...
... The Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is an endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula that inhabits mountainous systems [19]. This species live in social groups, but show spatial sexual segregation for most of the year, only coming together during the courtship (rutting) season, usually from October to December [25]. ...
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Background Space use by animals is determined by the interplay between movement and the environment, and is thus mediated by habitat selection, biotic interactions and intrinsic factors of moving individuals. These processes ultimately determine home range size, but their relative contributions and dynamic nature remain less explored. We investigated the role of habitat selection, movement unrelated to habitat selection and intrinsic factors related to sex in driving space use and home range size in Iberian ibex, Capra pyrenaica. We used GPS collars to track ibex across the year in two different geographical areas of Sierra Nevada, Spain, and measured habitat variables related to forage and roost availability. Results By using integrated step selection analysis (iSSA), we show that habitat selection was important to explain space use by ibex. As a consequence, movement was constrained by habitat selection, as observed displacement rate was shorter than expected under null selection. Selection-independent movement, selection strength and resource availability were important drivers of seasonal home range size. Both displacement rate and directional persistence had a positive relationship with home range size while accounting for habitat selection, suggesting that individual characteristics and state may also affect home range size. Ibex living at higher altitudes, where resource availability shows stronger altitudinal gradients across the year, had larger home ranges. Home range size was larger in spring and autumn, when ibex ascend and descend back, and smaller in summer and winter, when resources are more stable. Therefore, home range size decreased with resource availability. Finally, males had larger home ranges than females, which might be explained by differences in body size and reproductive behaviour. Conclusions Movement, selection strength, resource availability and intrinsic factors related to sex determined home range size of Iberian ibex. Our results highlight the need to integrate and account for process dependencies, here the interdependence of movement and habitat selection, to understand how animals use space. This study contributes to understand how movement links environmental and geographical space use and determines home range behaviour in large herbivores. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s40462-017-0119-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
... This medium-size Caprinae is a species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and is adapted to rocky mountain ecosystems. It inhabits the Mediterranean mountain ranges of the Iberian Peninsula, where it is the most abundant mountain ungulate, with over 50,000 ibexes (24). ...
... Infectious diseases have been identified as potential threats for wild Iberian ibex populations (24). The surveillance of M. conjunctivae infection and the potential impact in free-ranging Iberian ibex populations may therefore be considered in future studies on the management of this species. ...
... Sex determination was made by visual inspection of genitalia, and age was determined by counting the annual horn segments (58). The ibexes were classified into five different age categories according to social segregation and aging process: kids, less than 6 months; yearlings, from 6 months to 2 years; young, from 2 to 3 years; prime age, from 3 to 7 years; and senescence from 8 years onwards (11,24,59). ...
Article
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The susceptibility of the Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) to Mycoplasma conjunctivae ocular infection and the changes in their interaction over time were studied in terms of clinical outcome, molecular detection, and IgG immune response in a captive population that underwent a severe infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) outbreak. Mycoplasma conjunctivae was detected in the Iberian ibex, coinciding with the IKC outbreak. Its prevalence had a decreasing trend in 2013 that was consistent with the clinical resolution (August, 35.4%; September, 8.7%; November, 4.3%). Infections without clinical outcome were, however, still detected in the last handling in November. Sequencing and cluster analyses of the M. conjunctivae strains found 1 year later in the ibex population confirmed the persistence of the same strain lineage that caused the IKC outbreak but with a high prevalence (75.3%) of mostly asymptomatic infections and with lower DNA load of M. conjunctivae in the eyes (mean quantitative PCR [qPCR] cycle threshold [CT], 36.1 versus 20.3 in severe IKC). Significant age-related differences of M. conjunctivae prevalence were observed only under IKC epizootic conditions. No substantial effect of systemic IgG on M. conjunctivae DNA in the eye was evidenced with a linear mixed-models selection, which indicated that systemic IgG does not necessarily drive the resolution of M. conjunctivae infection and does not explain the epidemiological changes observed. The results show how both epidemiological scenarios, i.e., severe IKC outbreak and mostly asymptomatic infections, can consecutively occur by entailing mycoplasma persistence.
... However, the subspecific classification of the Iberian ibex is based purely on morphological traits and, given that relevant biometric data are scarce and incomplete [15], [16], this classification has been widely questioned [16][17][18]. Analyses using data from mitochondrial DNA sequences [19] add further doubts to this subspecific classification [20]. Moreover, because of its value as a game animal, this species has been the object of numerous translocation and restocking programs, many poorly documented [20], [21], that may have led to an admixture of animals from different geographical regions. ...
... Analyses using data from mitochondrial DNA sequences [19] add further doubts to this subspecific classification [20]. Moreover, because of its value as a game animal, this species has been the object of numerous translocation and restocking programs, many poorly documented [20], [21], that may have led to an admixture of animals from different geographical regions. To date, no comprehensive analysis combining genetic and morphological data has ever been carried out [20], [22]. ...
... Moreover, because of its value as a game animal, this species has been the object of numerous translocation and restocking programs, many poorly documented [20], [21], that may have led to an admixture of animals from different geographical regions. To date, no comprehensive analysis combining genetic and morphological data has ever been carried out [20], [22]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Genetic differentiation in historically connected populations could be the result of genetic drift or adaptation, two processes that imply a need for differing strategies in population management. The aim of our study was to use neutral genetic markers to characterize C. pyrenaica populations genetically and examine results in terms of (i) demographic history, (ii) subspecific classification and (iii) the implications for the management of Iberian ibex. Methodology/Principal Findings We used 30 neutral microsatellite markers from 333 Iberian ibex to explore genetic diversity in the three main Iberian ibex populations in Spain corresponding to the two persisting subspecies (victoria and hispanica). Our molecular analyses detected recent genetic bottlenecks in all the studied populations, a finding that coincides with the documented demographic decline in C. pyrenaica in recent decades. Genetic divergence between the two C. pyrenaica subspecies (hispanica and victoriae) was substantial (FST between 0.39 and 0.47). Unexpectedly, we found similarly high genetic differentiation between two populations (Sierra Nevada and Maestrazgo) belonging to the subspecies hispanica. The genetic pattern identified in our study could be the result of strong genetic drift due to the severe genetic bottlenecks in the studied populations, caused in turn by the progressive destruction of natural habitat, disease epidemics and/or uncontrolled hunting. Conclusions Previous Capra pyrenaica conservation decision-making was based on the clear distinction between the two subspecies (victoriae and hispanica); yet our paper raises questions about the usefulness for conservation plans of the distinction between these subspecies.
... In total, 204 individuals (120 females and 84 males) were released from July 2014 to October 2017 in three different seasons (see Appendix A). We defined the seasons based on biological and behavioural criteria (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Viana et al., 2018): spring (April 1 to June 30), summer (July 1 to October 15) and the rutting period (October 16 to December 31). No release occurred in winter (January 1 to March 31). ...
... Bleisch et al., 2017). Despite different vegetation characteristics in the four release areas, we did not find any effect on post-release dispersal, possibly because of the high dietary plasticity of the Iberian ibex (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009) indicating that the chosen release areas offered high-quality habitat. ...
... We did find that an individual's distance from the release site was season dependent, with individuals being farther from the release point in the summer and the rutting period than in the winter and spring, regardless of sex and age. Like ibex in native populations (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Viana et al., 2018), reintroduced ibex migrated along altitudinally to optimize resource acquisition or to avoid competition with transhumant livestock. Thus, the seasonal pattern of variation in distance from the release site in our study might not result from post-release exploratory movements, but from the usual seasonal migration of the species (Hsiung et al., 2018). ...
Article
Translocation is an important tool in restoring biodiversity, particularly when species have been extirpated from an area. In the period just after release, the main objective of conservation managers is to keep as many of the translocated individuals in the release area as possible, in order to maximize the number of founders of the new population. Environmental and intrinsic factors, release conditions and social behaviour are likely to influence an individual’s propensity to move away from the release site (known as post‐release dispersal); however, few studies have explored the relative importance of these factors. The aim of this study was to evaluate how these four factors affected the post‐release dispersal of 169 Iberian ibex translocated from Spain to the French Pyrenees. We modelled the linear distance between the barycentre of each individual ibex’s monthly locations and the release site. Our results indicated that most individuals stayed close to the release site, but that inter‐individual variability was high. Post‐release dispersal was higher for males than females, with male breeders exhibiting higher exploration behaviour than juveniles. Release season played a major role, with dispersal being the lowest in spring and the highest during the rutting period. Dispersal was also found to be lower when conspecifics were present in the release area, probably due to their role as a cue for favourable habitat. These findings can be used by conservation managers to inform translocation strategies in order to enhance success: for example by releasing females and young males in spring and splitting a reintroduction project into successive release operations. The aim of this study was to evaluate how environmental conditions, intrinsic factors, release conditions and social behaviour affected the post‐release dispersal of 169 Iberian ibex translocated from Spain to the French Pyrenees. Distance from the release site was sex and age dependent, season of the release and presence of conspecifics playing also a major role. These findings can be used by conservation managers to inform translocation strategies in order to enhance success.
... It is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). Cabrera (1911) described four C. pyrenaica subspecies, which were as follows: C. p. lusitanica, now extinct, but which was formerly located in northern Portugal and southern Galicia; C. p. pyrenaica, in the Pyrenees, recently extinct (Pérez et al., 2002); C. p. hispanica, in the south and east of the Iberian Peninsula; and C. p. victoriae, mainly in central areas of Spain, such as the Gredos mountain range . ...
... Pérez et al. (2002) indicate that the whole Iberian population numbers nearly 50,000, which are distributed in more than 50 nuclei. The average population density was estimated to be 2.7 ibex/km 2 , ranging from 0.4 to more than 15.0 ibex/km 2 , with most records between 1.2 and 4.4 ibex/km 2 (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). ...
... The effect of overabundance on the host's condition may also indirectly increase the risk of infection, e.g., by limiting the host's immune capacity (Fernández-Llario et al., 2004). A further example is the case of outbreaks of sarcoptic mange amongst ibex in Spain (León-Vizcaino et al., 1999) and, more recently, in barbary sheep (González-Candela et al., 2004), as a result of high host densities and the limited availability of food (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). Other diseases can affect humans, one such example being Lyme's disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted by the ticks of the Ixodes genus and has intermediate ungulate hosts (Gordon et al., 2009). ...
Chapter
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The range of wild ungulates, and principally that of red deer and wild boar, has expanded throughout the Mediterranean Basin in recent decades. The abundances of these species have also increased dramatically, and they are now attaining densities that often exceed ecologically admissible thresholds. This situation has been favoured by several factors: i) The increase in shrub and forest areas owing to the cessation of marginal agricultural practices, ii) the growing demand for big game hunting and its associated intensive management actions, iii) the loss of large native predators and iv) climatic change, among others. The increase in some ungulate populations has led to agricultural damage, road accidents and the spread of shared diseases among livestock and ungulates, in addition to causing important dysfunctions at various levels of the ecosystem. In this chapter, we assess the peer-reviewed literature concerning the effects of wild ungulates on the Mediterranean Basin ecosystems. The aim of this chapter is to synthesize the knowledge regarding the ecological effects of current wild ungulate abundance on Mediterranean ecosystems, paying particular attention to the cascade effects in them. Several works have reported the negative impacts of wild ungulates, from the basic levels of the ecosystem (soil properties, nutrient cycles, microorganisms), to higher levels (vertebrates) through a series of intermediary effects on the plant community or the structure of arthropods and vegetation. These impacts on the ecosystem also promote alterations in the populations of some species whose conservation is a cause for concern, and may even lead to modifications of natural processes. All groups involved in wild ungulate management (hunters, gamekeepers, conservationists, researchers, competent authorities) should actively participate in efforts to understand, monitor, and reduce the impact of wild ungulates on ecosystems, highlighting common priorities for future research and action plans. Furthermore, addressing impacts at the landscape scale requires management policies that will integrate information regarding the negative impacts of ungulates in order to ensure an appropriate and holistic management.
... Gourdon 1908, Cabrera 1914, Labarère 1985, Crampe et Crégut-Bonnoure 1994, García-González and Herrero 1999, Jiménez 2016. Moreover, infectious diseases like the sarcoptic mange have also been listed among the causes of its disappearance (Pèrez et al. 2002, Acevedo andCassinello 2009), while pathogens like the bluetongue virus (BTV), which has recently caused the sharp demographic collapse of other ungulates (e.g. the pronghorn antelope Antilocapra americana: Thorne et al. 1988, the goitred gazelle Gazella subgutturosa subgutturosa: Gür 2008), have been recurrently detected in Iberian ibex populations across Spain (García et al. 2009;Lorca-Oró et al. 2014;Gómez-Guillamón et al. 2020). ...
... Despite the fact that hunting and epizootics from sympatric livestock are deemed to have played a major role (along with habitat fragmentation) in drastically reducing its populations over the last two centuries, the relative contribution of multiple threatening factors remains largely unknown (Hidalgo and García-González 1995;García-González et al. 1996). Nonetheless, there is strong evidence that the severe bottleneck caused by hunting amplified high levels of inbreeding and homozygosis (Jiménez et al. 1999) which likely reduced fertility of the fast-shrinking population brought beyond the minimum viable population size (Acevedo and Cassinello 2009) into an extinction vortex (Soulé 1987). ...
... Indeed, previous studies acknowledge that hunting, either legal or illegal, was extremely detrimental not only in terms of the reduction in population size, but also in terms of the disruption of the social structure of the population (García-González et al. 1996;García-González and Herrero 1999;Acevedo and Cassinello 2009;Herrero et al. 2020). However, multiple contributing factors, such as epizootics, are typically invoked. ...
Article
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Reconstructing the demographic history of endangered taxa is paramount to predict future fluctuations and disentangle the contributing factors. Extinct taxa or populations might also provide key insights in this respect by means of the DNA extracted from museum specimens. Nevertheless, the degraded status of biological material and the limited number of records may pose some constraints. For this reason, identifying all available sources, including private and public biological collections, is a crucial step forward. In this study, we reconstructed the demographic history based on cytochrome- b sequence data of the Pyrenean ibex ( Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica ), a charismatic taxon of the European wildlife that became extinct in the year 2000. Moreover, we built a database of the museum specimens available in public biological collections worldwide and genotyped a privately owned 140-year-old trophy from the Spanish Pyrenees to confirm its origin. We found that the population of the Pyrenean ibex underwent a recent expansion approximately 20,000 years ago, after which trophy hunting and epizootics triggered a relentless population decline. Our interpretations, based on the genetic information currently available in public repositories, provide a solid basis for more exhaustive analyses relying on all the new sources identified. In particular, the adoption of a genome-wide approach appears a fundamental prerequisite to disentangle the multiple contributing factors associated with low genetic diversity, including inbreeding depression, acting as extinction drivers.
... From the 1960s onward, the species was translocated to several locations, mainly using individuals from Sierra de Cazorla and Tortosa and Beseit Game Reserve for the subspecies C. p. hispanica and from Sierra de Gredos and the Batuecas Game Reserve for the subspecies C. p. victoriae. This significantly expanded the species' range to the current distribution (Acevedo and Cassinello 2009a; see also "Management"). More recently, several studies have assessed the species' distribution throughout its range (e.g., Alados 1997) and in particular its expansion (González et al. 2013). ...
... In this period, the species returned to Portugal after an escape from Spain (Moço et al. 2006). Acevedo and Cassinello (2009a) updated the information on its complete Iberian range. Since the 1980s, the species started the recolonization of the Pyrenees (Herrero et al. 2013b) in Spain. ...
... In Northern Spain, the population of the Cantabrian Mountains is well established in Riaño Game Reserve and Ancares Game Reserve, and the species has expanded across the Northern Portuguese border (Fonseca et al. 2017b). According to recent data, the current distribution of the Iberian wild goat is shown in Fig. 2 (Acevedo and Cassinello 2009a;Fonseca et al. 2017a). In most nuclei, there has been a generalized expansion of the species' range. ...
... The Iberian ibex is mixed feeder (browser and grazer) endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula which is wildly distributed in the mountains regions (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). Currently there is sufficient evidence that shows that a natural expansion of the species is taking place (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). ...
... The Iberian ibex is mixed feeder (browser and grazer) endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula which is wildly distributed in the mountains regions (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). Currently there is sufficient evidence that shows that a natural expansion of the species is taking place (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). The Iberian ibex (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;Alados and Escós, 2017), absent from the Sierra de Guadarrama over the last century, was introduced in 1990 with 67 specimens, and since then the species has become emblematic of the national park. ...
... Currently there is sufficient evidence that shows that a natural expansion of the species is taking place (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). The Iberian ibex (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;Alados and Escós, 2017), absent from the Sierra de Guadarrama over the last century, was introduced in 1990 with 67 specimens, and since then the species has become emblematic of the national park. Due to the lack of predators, the extensive availability of food resources, the low hunting pressure, and the high reproduction rate of the species, the number of specimens currently exceeds 5000 individuals (Refoyo et al., 2015(Refoyo et al., , 2016. ...
Article
Conflicts derived from the proactive management of ecosystems and wildlife populations abound in national parks, which can prevent the control of some animal populations, consequently causing negative effects to the ecological values and creating health risks for the ecosystems. This work quantifies a conflict related to population control of the Iberian ibex in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park in Spain where ecological values and health risks are at stake. A discrete choice experiment was conducted of three population samples: 430 on-site visitors, 210 off-site visitors and 210 non-visitors, and two levels of status quo information were considered. The results show that not conducting any ibex management program in the park causes a loss of social well-being and that the design of the management program is shown to be relevant for obtaining greater or lesser acceptance by the surveyed population. In general, better ecological and health levels, as well as avoiding having to kill animals in the park, increase a program’s acceptance. Management measures are also shown to take on greater importance to the extent that the results in the health and ecological indicators are worse. Finally, in aggregate terms, additional information about the status quo did not generate major differences in the estimates of a change of well-being.
... The Iberian wild goat (Capra pyrenaica, also known as Iberian ibex, Spanish ibex, and Spanish wild goat) is a wild goat ungulate native to the Iberian Peninsula which inhabits mountainous and rocky areas and feeds on shrubs, bushes, and grasses (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009a;Granados et al., 2001Granados et al., , 2007. According to Cabrera (1911Cabrera ( , 1914, in the early 20 th century, there were four Iberian wild goat subspecies, namely C. p. hispanica (CPH, south and east of the Iberian Peninsula), C. p. victoriae (CPV, center and northwest of the Iberian Peninsula), C. p. lusitanica (CPL, Galicia and north of Portugal, extinct in the 19 th century), and C. p. pyrenaica (CPP, Pyrenees), which became extinct two decades ago . ...
... Restocking/repopulation translocations have favored gene flow between distant populations (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009a;Crampe, 1991). The most comprehensive report to date analyzing the variability of 333 Iberian wild goats with a panel of 30 microsatellites did not show any evidence of genetic signatures typically associated with translocations and population admixture (Angelone-Alasaad et al., 2017). ...
... As pointed out by Acevedo and Cassinello (2009a), Iberian wild goat distribution is the result of both natural and artificial expansion processes. Most translocations were carried out after 1970, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009a). ...
Article
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Iberian wild goats (Capra pyrenaica, also known as Iberian ibex, Spanish ibex, and Spanish wild goat) underwent strong genetic bottlenecks during the 19th and 20th centuries due to overhunting and habitat destruction. From the 1970s to 1990s, augmentation translocations were frequently carried out to restock Iberian wild goat populations (very often with hunting purposes), but they were not systematically planned or recorded. On the other hand, recent data suggest the occurrence of hybridization events between Iberian wild goats and domestic goats (Capra hircus). Augmentation translocations and interspecific hybridization might have contributed to increase the diversity of Iberian wild goats. With the aim of investigating this issue, we have genotyped 118 Iberian wild goats from Tortosa‐Beceite, Sierra Nevada, Muela de Cortes, Gredos, Batuecas and, Ordesa and Monte Perdido by using the Goat SNP50 BeadChip (Illumina). The analysis of genotypic data indicated that Iberian wild goat populations are strongly differentiated and display low diversity. Only three Iberian wild goats out from 118 show genomic signatures of mixed ancestry, a result consistent with a scenario in which past augmentation translocations have had a limited impact on the diversity of Iberian wild goats. Besides, we have detected eight Iberian wild goats from Tortosa‐Beceite with signs of domestic goat introgression. Although rare, hybridization with domestic goats could become a potential threat to the genetic integrity of Iberian wild goats, hence measures should be taken to avoid the presence of uncontrolled herds of domestic or feral goats in mountainous areas inhabited by this iconic wild ungulate.
... Le développement des quelques autres populations résiduelles des sierras de l'est et du sud de l'Espagne apparaîtra un peu plus tard avec la création de nombreuses réserves de chasse issues de la promulgation de la Loi sur la chasse par l'Etat espagnol (Crampe et al., 2012 Pleureur en Suisse, Gran Paradiso en Italie, Vanoise en France) ont permis la colonisation de la plupart des massifs de l'arc Alpin, ce qui aurait été naturellement impossible en seulement un siècle (Stüwe & Nievergelt, 1991). La recolonisation de nouvelles zones par le bouquetin ibérique au Portugal et en Espagne est la conséquence combinée d'une colonisation naturelle et de réintroductions (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Fonseca et al., 2017). Si en Espagne cette gestion a un objectif cynégétique, avec une chasse de prestige ayant de fortes retombées économiques (chasse au trophée), il est à noter qu'en France, les seules motivations de ces programmes ont été de « protéger la nature » (Pfeffer & Clouet, 1979;Gauthier & Villaret, 1990) à l'époque où l'on n'évoquait pas encore la restauration de la biodiversité. ...
... Contrairement à ce qui est souvent écrit sur le bouquetin des Alpes dans la littérature grand public, la haute montagne ne lui est pas indispensable puisqu'il est présent entre 500 et plus de 3000 m d'altitude, son aire de répartition descendant autrefois jusqu'au niveau de la mer. D'ailleurs en Espagne, certaines populations de bouquetin ibérique du sud du pays occupent des falaises en bordure de la mer Méditerranée (Palomo & Gisbert, 2012 (Grignolio et al., 2003;Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009). C'est en été qu'il fréquente les altitudes les plus élevées, notamment les femelles lors des étés les plus chauds (Grignolio et al., 2004;Viana et al., 2018). ...
... Coupling scalespecific habitat selection and activity reveals sex-specific food/cover trade-offs in a large herbivore. AnimalBehaviour, 102,[169][170][171][172][173][174][175][176][177][178][179][180][181][182][183][184][185][186][187]://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.01.011 Martins, A. G., Netto, N. T., Aulagnier, S., Borges, A., Dubois, M., Vicente, L., Gerard, J.-F., & Maublanc, M.-L. ...
Thesis
In the current context of global change, the loss of biodiversity is increasing at a considerable rate. Conservation translocations have become an important tool for restoring endangered or extinct animal and plant populations. Among them, reintroductions consist of restoring a species to its original range or strengthening existing populations. Improving knowledge of the biology of populations resulting from these reintroductions not only contributes to fundamental ecology, but also make it possible to evaluate conservation actions and guide strategies. We chose to study two aspects of the biology of ibex species present in France by focusing on the behavioural ecology of individuals of Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) just after their reintroduction in the Pyrenees where the species had completely disappeared, and on the dynamics of ancient populations of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex). The analysis of post-release dispersal showed that males of breeding age are the ones who explored furthest, that the presence of congeners at the release site reduces the dispersal of individuals, and that it is important to carry out reintroductions in spring. Comparison of spatial fidelity of individuals in the early stages after reintroduction with that of individuals from ancient populations has shown that this fidelity emerges more rapidly in females, with a positive effect on individuals already present in the release site, whereas males stabilize more slowly. In ancient populations, spatial fidelity has a marked seasonality, revealing how the familiarity of individuals with their habitat during summer enables them to make the best use of resources during this key period. Through individual monitoring of marked animals over a period of twenty years, we have identified the factors influencing the recruitment and seasonal survival in ancient populations. We show that the costs of reproduction on subsequent reproduction were low when the individual heterogeneity of females is taken into account, but that extreme environmental conditions entail high costs on their survival, and probably contribute to maintaining a diversity of reproductive strategies in a population. None of the seasons concentrate annual mortality. However, climatic conditions directly affect the seasonal survival of both sexes in all age classes, although males seemed to cope better with poor winter conditions. Spring conditions, through vegetation phenology, also had an indirect effect on variations in seasonal survival. Changes in environmental conditions, particularly climatic conditions, could therefore have significant consequences on variation in population size. Conservationists will be able to draw on our results and proposals to improve management of these species.
... En el caso de la cabra montes ibérica (Capra pyrenaica Schinz, 1838), tanto su distribución pasada (Cabrera, 1911) como actual (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009), así como su diversificación genética , han sido objeto de numerosos estudios, siendo todavía un tema controvertido, empezando por la misma validez de las subespecies establecidas por Cabrera (1914). Esta controversia se debe, parcial y recientemente, a las numerosas traslocaciones y refuerzos poblacionales que ha experimentado esta especie, como consecuencia de su gran interés cinegético (Crampe, 1991;Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009), y que han permitido la hibridación entre diferentes poblaciones y variedades geográficamente alejadas. ...
... En el caso de la cabra montes ibérica (Capra pyrenaica Schinz, 1838), tanto su distribución pasada (Cabrera, 1911) como actual (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009), así como su diversificación genética , han sido objeto de numerosos estudios, siendo todavía un tema controvertido, empezando por la misma validez de las subespecies establecidas por Cabrera (1914). Esta controversia se debe, parcial y recientemente, a las numerosas traslocaciones y refuerzos poblacionales que ha experimentado esta especie, como consecuencia de su gran interés cinegético (Crampe, 1991;Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009), y que han permitido la hibridación entre diferentes poblaciones y variedades geográficamente alejadas. Por otra parte, la baja variabilidad genética, fruto de su reciente diversificación y de los numerosos cuellos de botella poblacionales que ha soportado a lo largo de su historia, podría estar dificultando la identificación y diferenciación de taxones intraespecíficos (Fandos et al., 1992). ...
... Como es conocido, de las cuatro subespecies definidas originalmente por Cabrera (1914), solo dos sobreviven en la actualidad: C. p. victoriae y C. p. hispanica. La primera se distribuye por el centro y noroeste de la P.I. y la segunda por el sur y el este de la Península (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009). C. p. lusitanica que habitaba en Galicia y norte de Portugal, se extinguió a principios del siglo pasado (França 1917) y C. p. pyrenaica, propia de los Pirineos y que sirvió para definir el tipo de la especie, se extinguió en el año 2000 (García-González, 2009). ...
Article
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In order to provide some issues for a future study of Capra pyrenaica phylogeography I review classic and recent works considering data of genetic studies known to date, as well as recent findings related to paleontology and biometrics. C. pyrenaica has experienced several population bottlenecks throughout its history that have led to a loss of genetic diversity. In addition, numerous recent translocations and population reinforcements can complicate the clarification of intraspecific genetic differentiation. I review current theories about the evolution of the species. One of them establishes a recent evolution (past 18,000 years) from ancestors related to C. caucasica. I analyze in some detail the morphological characters (mainly teeth and horns) on which this theory is based, showing their high variability. Present genetic studies show a clear relationship between C. pyrenaica and Alpine ibex (C. i. ibex). They also show a north-south genetic differentiation between Iberian goats, occupying the Pyrenean goats (C. p. pyrenaica) an intermediate position between Alpine ibex and southern Iberian goats. Recent paleontological findings evidence an ancient presence (Lower Pleistocene) of Capra in the Iberian Peninsula. I propose the hypothesis that the descendants of these ancient goats, may have come into contact with C. ibex in the Pyrenees and southern France, one or more times during the Upper Pleistocene. Intermediate characteristics, both genetic and biometric, of the extinct Pyrenean goats, would agree with this hypothesis. New paleontological records and more genetic studies (including fossil and recent materials) are necessary, to elucidate both the phylogeny of C. pyrenaica and its intraspecific diversification.
... The Iberian ibex, an endemic ungulate to the Iberian Peninsula, had disappeared in most of its range. Nevertheless, since the mid-twentieth century, its populations have increased and large areas from which it had disappeared have been recolonised (Acevedo and Cassinello 2009). ...
... Nevertheless, similar d 13 C values indicate that species feed on the same kind of vegetation, in our case C3 plants; i.e. they were mainly browsers in our study area. However, it must be considered that the feeding patterns of ungulates do not remain constant over time and some species show high feeding plasticity (Acevedo and Cassinello 2009;Lehmann et al. 2011). Studies about the Iberian ibex have demonstrated that browsing focuses on shrub or tree species. ...
Article
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Exploitative competition implies an indirect interaction in which a resource exploited by one species is not available for another; e.g., when species share diet or habitat. It plays a key role in community structure and dynamics. Here we evaluated the niche overlap between the exotic aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) and the native Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) where the species coexist in the Iberian Peninsula, along two main dimensions, the trophic niche and the environmental niche. Then we assessed the spatial segregation of the species. We expected that if a niche overlap was high, competition could drive spatial segregation to allow co-existence. We analyzed their trophic niche overlap by using the content of stable isotopes δ15N and δ13C in the hair of both species. To establish environmental niche competition, we compared the similarity in their habitat, estimated by environmental niche models based on the fine-scale presence records of each species obtained from field surveys. To test if spatial segregation occurred, we analyzed both species’ co-occurrence. Our results indicated that both species shared a similar trophic niche measured by stable isotopes, both species showed a similar distribution of suitable areas, and that both species’ environmental niches were more similar than expected. Finally, a negative spatial association was found between the aoudad and Iberian ibex. These results reveal that both species are ecologically similar and suggest that fine-scale spatial segregation might have favoured their co-existence in semiarid Mediterranean mountains. Our results show that integrating information on trophic and environmental niche overlap with fine scale spatial distribution might improve the study of competitive interactions among wild ungulates.
... A variety of procedures have been used to assess populations of the endemic Iberian wild goat Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica Schinz, 1838, which lives in rugged environments on the Iberian Peninsula (Escós & Alados, 1988;Fandos, 1988;García-González et al., 1992;Moço et al., 2006;Pérez et al., 1994), and the use of some of these procedures proved difficult (escós & alados, 1988;Pérez et al., 2002;Fonseca et al., 2017). Although two of the four subspecies of Iberian wild goat, Capra pyrenaica lusitanica Schlegel, 1872 and Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica, Schinz 1838, were driven extinct (García-González & Herrero, 1999), populations of the others have expanded greatly over the past century and they continue to increase, mainly through natural expansion (Lucas et al., 2016;Alados & Escós, 2017;Gortázar et al., 2000;Pérez et al., 2002), but also through translocations (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009) and escapes from enclosures (Herrero et al., 2013;Moço et al., 2006,). Currently, accurate estimates of many of the populations and subpopulations are unavailable (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Pérez et al., 2002) despite being a heavily hunted game species. ...
... Although two of the four subspecies of Iberian wild goat, Capra pyrenaica lusitanica Schlegel, 1872 and Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica, Schinz 1838, were driven extinct (García-González & Herrero, 1999), populations of the others have expanded greatly over the past century and they continue to increase, mainly through natural expansion (Lucas et al., 2016;Alados & Escós, 2017;Gortázar et al., 2000;Pérez et al., 2002), but also through translocations (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009) and escapes from enclosures (Herrero et al., 2013;Moço et al., 2006,). Currently, accurate estimates of many of the populations and subpopulations are unavailable (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Pérez et al., 2002) despite being a heavily hunted game species. In Spain, the Iberian wild goat is a game species, in Portugal and France it is protected and the IUCN considers it globally a species of Least Concern (LC) (Herrero & Pérez, 2008). ...
Article
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El objetivo del estudio fue estimar la distribución y densidad de la cabra montés en la provincial de Castellón, España. Pedimos a los agentes medioambientales del Departamento de Medio Ambiente de la Generalitat de Valencia que estimaran su distribución utilizando cuadrículas de 2,5 x 2,5 km2 e identificaran 130 puntos de observación fijos con buena visibilidad en toda el área. El seguimiento se hizo en dos periodos: junio y julio, tras los partos y noviembre-diciembre, durante el celo. El conteo se realizó tras el amanecer o antes del atardecer durante periodos de 3 horas y para calcular la densidad utilizamos el procedimiento Distance Sampling (DS). Detectamos 1.157 cabras en el 77% de los puntos fijos tras los partos y 1.994 en el 82% de los puntos durante el celo. En el celo la densidad fue de 11,7 cabras km-2 (ICM 95% = 8,9-15,4). El 15% de los machos resultó ser mayor de 10 años, la proporción de sexos en la edad adulta de 0,98 machos por hembra, la productividad 0,75 cabritos por hembra adulta y el tamaño mínimo poblacional de 24.030 individuos. En terrenos forestales rugosos, el procedimiento del DS produce resultados razonables que apoyan su uso para estimar tamaños poblacionales de cabras monteses en estos ambientes de visibilidad reducida.
... A variety of procedures have been used to assess populations of the endemic Iberian wild goat Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica Schinz, 1838, which lives in rugged environments on the Iberian Peninsula (Escós & Alados, 1988;Fandos, 1988;García-González et al., 1992;Moço et al., 2006;Pérez et al., 1994), and the use of some of these procedures proved difficult (escós & alados, 1988;Pérez et al., 2002;Fonseca et al., 2017). Although two of the four subspecies of Iberian wild goat, Capra pyrenaica lusitanica Schlegel, 1872 and Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica, Schinz 1838, were driven extinct (García-González & Herrero, 1999), populations of the others have expanded greatly over the past century and they continue to increase, mainly through natural expansion (Lucas et al., 2016;Alados & Escós, 2017;Gortázar et al., 2000;Pérez et al., 2002), but also through translocations (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009) and escapes from enclosures (Herrero et al., 2013;Moço et al., 2006,). Currently, accurate estimates of many of the populations and subpopulations are unavailable (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Pérez et al., 2002) despite being a heavily hunted game species. ...
... Although two of the four subspecies of Iberian wild goat, Capra pyrenaica lusitanica Schlegel, 1872 and Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica, Schinz 1838, were driven extinct (García-González & Herrero, 1999), populations of the others have expanded greatly over the past century and they continue to increase, mainly through natural expansion (Lucas et al., 2016;Alados & Escós, 2017;Gortázar et al., 2000;Pérez et al., 2002), but also through translocations (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009) and escapes from enclosures (Herrero et al., 2013;Moço et al., 2006,). Currently, accurate estimates of many of the populations and subpopulations are unavailable (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Pérez et al., 2002) despite being a heavily hunted game species. In Spain, the Iberian wild goat is a game species, in Portugal and France it is protected and the IUCN considers it globally a species of Least Concern (LC) (Herrero & Pérez, 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to estimate the distribution and density of Iberian wild goat Capra pyrenaica in Castellón province, Spain. We asked the rangers of the Environmental Agency of Valencia to estimate the distribution of the species within the province using a 2.5 x 2.5 km2 grid and identified 130 vantage points for fixedpoint surveys throughout the area. Survey was undertaken in two periods (June and July, post-partum period, and November and December, during the rut). The animals were counted from those fixed points during 3 hours observation periods in the morning or evening, and, to calculate the population density, we used the Distance Sampling (DS) procedure. We counted 1,157 goats at 77% of the vantage points in the post-partum period and 1,994 at 82% of the vantage points during the rut. During the rut, the population density was 11.7 goats km-2 (95% CI = 8.9-15.4). Fifteen per cent of the males were >10 years old, the sex ratio was near unity (0.98 males per female), the productivity of the population was 0.75 kids per female, and the estimated minimum population size was 24,030 individuals. In the rugged, mountainous forests, the DS produced reasonable results, which supports the use of this procedure to estimate populations of Iberian wild goats in such environments where the visibility is restricted.
... Sarcoptic mange is one of the most important parasitic diseases for ibex, and it can persist in ibex populations with ongoing low prevalence (Yeruham et al. 1996, Pérez et al. 2006, Acevedo and Cassinello 2009. Ibex are social species that live in herds in which direct transmission is likely to occur. ...
... Other factors such as herd demographic structure and the ibex mating system may also affect the likelihood of ongoing transmission. For example, some ibex populations live in mixed groups year-round, whereas others maintain sexual segregation until the mating season (Alados 1985, León-Vizcaíno et al. 1999, Acevedo and Cassinello 2009. The occurrence and timing of the mating season can increase local population density and facilitate direct contact between typically separated individuals (León-Vizcaíno et al. 1999). ...
Article
Some pathogens sustain transmission in multiple different host species, but how this epidemiologically important feat is achieved remains enigmatic. Sarcoptes scabiei is among the most host generalist and successful of mammalian parasites. We synthesize pathogen and host traits that mediate sustained transmission and present cases illustrating three transmission mechanisms (direct, indirect, and combined). The pathogen traits that explain the success of S. scabiei include immune response modulation, on-host movement capacity, off-host seeking behaviors, and environmental persistence. Sociality and host density appear to be key for hosts in which direct transmission dominates, whereas in solitary hosts, the use of shared environments is important for indirect transmission. In social den-using species, combined direct and indirect transmission appears likely. Empirical research rarely considers the mechanisms enabling S. scabiei to become endemic in host species—more often focusing on outbreaks. Our review may illuminate parasites’ adaptation strategies to sustain transmission through varied mechanisms across host species.
... Gourdon 1908, Cabrera 1914, Labarère 1985, Crampe et Crégut-Bonnoure 1994, García-González and Herrero 1999, Jiménez 2016. Moreover, infectious diseases like the sarcoptic mange have also been listed among the causes of its decline (Pèrez et al. 2002, Acevedo andCassinello 2009), while pathogens like the bluetongue virus (BTV), which has recently caused the sharp demographic collapse of other ungulates (e.g. the pronghorn antelope Antilocapra americana: Thorne et al. 1988, the goitred gazelle Gazella subgutturosa subgutturosa: Gür 2008), have been recurrently detected in Iberian ibex populations across Spain (García et al. 2009;Lorca-Oró et al. 2014;Gómez-Guillamón et al. 2020). ...
... Despite the fact that hunting and epizootics from sympatric livestock are deemed to have played a major role (along with habitat fragmentation) in drastically reducing its populations over the last two centuries, the relative contribution of multiple threatening factors remains largely unknown (Hidalgo and García-González 1995;García-González et al. 1996). Nonetheless, there is strong evidence that the severe bottleneck caused by hunting amplified high levels of inbreeding and homozygosis (Jiménez et al. 1999) which likely reduced fertility of the fast-shrinking population brought beyond the minimum viable population size (Acevedo and Cassinello 2009) into an extinction vortex (Soulé 1987). ...
Article
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Reconstructing the demographic history of endangered taxa is paramount to predict future fluctuations and disentangle the contribution factors. Extinct taxa or populations might also provide key insights in this respect from DNA extracted from museum specimens. Nevertheless, the degraded status of biological material and the limited number of records may pose some constraints. For this reason , identifying all available sources, including private and public biological collections, is a crucial step forward. In this study, we reconstructed the demographic history based on cytochrome-b sequence data of the Pyrenean ibex (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica), a charismatic and iconic taxon of European wildlife that became extinct in the year 2000. Moreover, we built a database of the museum specimens available in public biological collections worldwide and genotyped a privately owned 140-year-old trophy from the Span-ish Pyrenees to confirm its origin. We found that the population of the Pyrenean ibex underwent a recent expansion approximately 20,000 years ago, after which trophy hunting and epizootics triggered a relentless population decline. Our interpretations, based on the genetic material currently available in public repositories, provide a solid basis for more exhaustive analyses based on all the new sources identified. In particular, the adoption of a genome-wide approach appears a fundamental prerequisite to disentangle the multiple contributing factors associated with low genetic diversity, including inbreeding depression, acting as extinction drivers.
... Unfortunately the last individual of the Pyrenean subspecies died in January 2000, leaving unstudied many of its biological and phylogenetic attributes (García-Gonz alez and Herrero, 1999;García-Gonz alez, 2012). Nevertheless, the taxonomy of extant C. pyrenaica at the subspecies level is still an open topic of discussion (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). ...
... Whether this difference in size amongst Iberian goats in the Late Pleistocene correspond to phylogenetic differences or not is still undetermined, as is the subspecific differentiation of C. pyrenaica (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009), and even the systematics regarding the specific level may probably undergo further revision (García-Gonz alez, 2011). The north-south size gradient of the Iberian goats might have been caused by the abundance of trophic resources in the Eurosiberian (temperate and fertile) and Mediterranean (arid and poor) environments, instead of being a temporary case of Bergmann's rule. ...
Article
Los Batanes cave (1025 m.a.s.l.) is a karstic system formed by pressure ducts, near the locality of Biescas in the Upper Gallego Valley (Huesca, Spain). Many fossil remains were retrieved from the cave sediments. The minimum sediment calendar age was determined to be 12.770 ± 60 BP. This date indicates that the deposit was formed before the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene transition at the Pyrenees. Here we analyze the faunal assemblage of the site that is only conformed by remains of Pyrenean wild goat (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica), which is a recently extinct subspecies of Iberian wild goat (C. pyrenaica). In the site, 1079 remains of Iberian wild goat have been recovered being one of the most numerous both in minimum number of individuals (MNI) and number of identified specimens (NISP) recovered until now in a natural trap in the Spanish Pyrenees. The population of Los Batanes shows a wide range of ages between juvenile and senile individuals and the MNI estimated from the number of right metatarsus is nine. The taphonomic features indicate that the cave acted as a trap for the goats which inhabited the vicinity of the cave. These goats probably stumbled and fell to the bottom of the pit and they could not get out, dying inside. Due to the origin of the accumulation numerous complete bones have been recovered. These fossil allow us to perform a biometric analysis that indicates that population of Los Batanes is in the range size of other goats from Late Pleistocene of Iberian Peninsula.
... C. p. lusitanica died out at the end of the 19th century (França, 1917) and C. p. pyrenaica went extinct in 2000 (P erez et al., 2002). The main factors affecting the populations have been the excessive hunting, habitat fragmentation, competition with exotic ungulates and domestic livestock as well as several diseases as sarcoptic mange (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;P erez et al., 2002). ...
Article
The population history of the Iberian wild goat and the Alpine ibex has been closely related to that of humans since the Palaeolithic. Current molecular and paleontological studies differ substantially on the phylogenetic origin of the European wild goats, possibly due the loss of genetic variation through time. We investigated the phylogenetic relationship between the Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) and the Iberian wild goat (Capra pyrenaica) including different Iberian wild goat subspecies by applying ancient DNA techniques combined with Next Generation Sequencing technologies. We analysed the cytochrome b gene of the mitochondrial genome in 33 ancient and modern European wild goats from Spain and France together with publicly available genetic information of modern wild goats. This work uncovers for the first time ancient genetic information of the Iberian wild goat and the Alpine ibex, spanning a time range of approximately 40,000 years to the present. Our results suggest genetic continuity between ancient and modern populations and indicate a monophyletic origin of the Alpine ibex and the Iberian wild goat when compared to other Capra species. The monophyly of both species is in agreement with other molecular studies based only on modern populations, therefore supporting one-wave migration of wild goats into Western Europe followed by possible allopatric speciation. We observe three major clades of wild goats in Western Europe: Capra ibex, Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica and the group containing the subspecies Capra pyrenaica hispanica and Capra pyrenaica victoriae. This genetic structure recognizes the distinctiveness of the bucardo (C. p. pyrenaica) from the rest of Iberian wild goats and thus supports the idea that this group is an Evolutionary Significant Unit. The divergence time estimated here indicates an almost contemporaneous split between the three clades around 50,000–90,000 years BP.
... Higher δ 13 C en and δ 13 C coll values of chamois (R. rupicapra) agree well with the study of fecal content of extant Cantabrian and Alpine chamois, which suggested a diet based on grass and forbs, with shrubs being consumed in a lower percentage (La Morgia and Bassano, 2009). The Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is a mixed-feeder with browsing or grazing affinities depending on location, season and food availability, which is is agreement with variable δ 13 C en data from La Paloma (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). The horse E. ferus is the second most abundant species at La Paloma. ...
Article
La Paloma cave (Asturias, northern Spain) stands out as one of the most notable prehistoric sites of the northern Iberian sector due to the richness of its archaeo-paleontological material, spanning a complete Magdalenian-Azilian sequence (~20,300-12,900calyears BP). The abundance, diversity and good preservation of mammalian remains make of La Paloma site an excellent location to characterize paleoclimatic, paleoecological and paleoenvironmental conditions from a biogeochemical standpoint. Stable isotope analyses performed on tooth enamel (δ13Cen, δ18OCO3, δ18OPO4) and bone collagen (δ13Ccoll, δ15N) of a suite of herbivore, carnivore and omnivore species did not yield significant variations across the stratigraphic sequence, likely pointing to prevalent and stable local conditions, with i) no major vegetation turnover, ii) maintenance of hydrological conditions, and iii) relatively constant soil activity, in spite of the synchrony of the La Paloma temporal context with global events, such as the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, the Heinrich Event 1 and the Bølling-Allerød oscillation. La Paloma δ13Cen and δ13Ccoll values are within the expected range for C3 mixed woodland-mesic C3 grassland conditions. Overall, bovids (large Bovidae, ibex and chamois) show higher δ13Cen, δ13Ccoll and δ15N values than cervids (red deer and roe deer), indicating a preference for more open environments in the former. Horse δ13C values are undistinguishable from those of red deer and point to a mixed-feeding behavior. Horse low δ15N values may be indicative of a diet with a low protein content. Bayesian mixing model results yielded differences in carnivore resource use, with wolf preying on all ungulates and red fox preferentially incorporating roe deer. Stable paleoenviromental conditions during the latest Pleistocene at the La Paloma area may have favored the persistence of a stable mammalian community structure, supporting the idea of the existence of refuge areas in the northern Iberian sector throughout the late Quaternary glacial-interglacial dynamics.
... The Iberian ibex is a wild ungulate endemic to the Iberian Peninsula which previously had a wider distribution range in almost all the Iberian Peninsula mountain ranges (Moreno-García, Davis, & Pimenta, 2003;Pérez et al., 2002). Threats such as fragmentation, competition with domestic livestock and other introduced wild ungulates, illegal hunting and especially diseases have been the main factors responsible for demographic changes in the recent history of this species (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Herrero & Pérez,2014). The impact of sarcoptic mange, caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, has been of particular relevance. ...
Article
Overexploitation, pollution, habitat loss or emerging diseases have led to a large number of species to extinction. This has made zoos and wildlife enclosures expand their goals beyond entertainment and fun; their participation in conservation and research programs is important for the recovery of multiple species. To ensure success, staff need to know the specific requirements of each species. In case of the Iberian ibex (Capra pyreanica), a wild ungulate endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, different sarcoptic mange outbreaks caused dramatic declines of some ibex populations, which led managers and researchers to explore strategies aimed at preventing and controlling this disease and to reduce its impact on ibex populations. Such management plans included the creation of stock reservoirs as an in-situ conservation measure. The objective of the stock reservoir El Toril, as a key part of a general management plan, is to keep in captivity (in range) a sex and age structured representation of the free-ranging population, with most of its genetic variability, destined for conservation programs. However, under captivity conditions with potential for high concentration of animals, direct contact and stress occur and the appearance, transmission, and severity of diseases could be favored. Therefore, it is necessary to establish health protocols in order to guarantee animal welfare. Spanish Animal Health laws establish specific requirements and preventive measures for controlling diseases in captive populations: sarcoptic mange, tuberculosis, brucellosis and bluetongue are notifiable diseases, and the staff of the reservoir must apply specific diagnostic methods to detect them. The management recommendations presented here may be very useful for other managers involved in the conservation of wild ruminants.
... The Iberian wild goat (Capra pyrenaica) is a wild ungulate endemic to the Iberian Peninsula (Herrero & Pérez, 2014;Pérez et al., 2002); and formerly had a wider distribution range in almost all the Iberian Peninsula mountain ranges (Antunes, 1987;Baptista & Reis, 2006;Moreno-García, Davis, & Pimenta, 2003;Valente, 2004). During the last centuries, several threats (e.g., hunting pressure, severe sarcoptic mange outbreaks, habitat destruction and fragmentation) led to a massive decline of the Iberian wild goat numbers and distribution (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;Pérez et al., 2002). As a consequence, only two of the four generally accepted subspecies survived: C. p. victoriae (present in the northnorthwest of Spain) and C. p. hispanica (present in the south of Spain) (García-González & Herrero, 1999). ...
Article
The Iberian wild goat (Capra pyrenaica) is an endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula. Of the four generally accepted subspecies (Capra pyrenaica victoriae, C.p. hispanica, C.p. pyrenaica, C.p. lusitanica) only two subsist (C.p. victoriae, C p. hispanica). The subspecies once found in Portugal, C. p. lusitanica, became extinct in the 19th century. However, the reintroduction of the C. p. victoriae in north-west Spain, led to the natural recolonization of this subspecies into Portugal. Knowledge of the Iberian wild goat in Portugal is still limited, making it difficult to evaluate the major conservation/management needs. To fill this gap, here we describe the historical distribution of the Iberian wild goat in Portugal and summarize the available information on the reintroduction and recolonization process of this species. Additionally, we used line itinerary survey (2011–2012), coupled with Distance Sampling, to estimate current densities, range and population structure of the Iberian wild goat distribution in Portugal. The Iberian wild goat density is 2.78/100 ha (95% CI: 1,72–4,50; CV: 18,36%) and the abundance is of 576 (CI 95%: 356–930; CV: 18,36%). The distribution data shows that the population is divided in three nuclei: 1- Serra do Gerês (13,840 ha); 2–Serra Amarela (1235 ha); 3–Castro Laboreiro (343 ha), in a total area of 15,418 ha. Iberian wild goat population in Portugal has greatly increased in the last years, both in number and distribution range. The demographic data shows a potential for increase in the next years but our current ecological background knowledge still remains limited. Iberian wild goat management will benefit from a long-term project including public awareness, scientific research and management solutions.
... This expansion has been facilitated by several factors, including the regulation of exploitation and the control of poaching (Gortázar et al., 2000 ), the abandoning of agricultural land in mountain and forest areas (Acevedo et al., 2006; Vargas et al., 2007), and the establishment of protected and conservation areas (Côté et al., 2004). However, the key factor is considered to have been anthropogenic expansion, which has primarily been carried out for hunting purposes (Gortázar et al., 2000; Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009). In the Iberian Peninsula, and particularly in central and southern areas, there are high densities of red deer Cervus elaphus his- Ardeola 62(2), 2015, 283-297 CARPIO, A. J., OTEROS, J., VICENTE, J. TORTOSA, F. S. and GUERRERO-CASADO, J. 284 negatively affect partridge abundance, which may be mediated by (i) a reduction in food availability (invertebrate and herbaceous plant biomass) and (ii) nest predation by wild boar. ...
Article
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Summary. The red-legged partridge Alectoris rufa is not only the most important bird game species but also an important prey species for many predators in Iberia. However, its populations have significantly declined in recent decades, principally as the result of agricultural intensification on arable land. Its abundance has also undergone a significant decline in forested areas over the last few decades, where wild ungulate management and abundance have increased. In this scenario, we aimed to test the factors that affect red-legged partridge abundance in relation to high wild ungulate (wild boar and red deer) abundance in south-central Spain. The factors included as predictors were carnivore, wild boar and red deer abundances, vegetation features, nest predation rate and invertebrate availability. Red deer abundance showed a negative relationship with partridge abundance in spring (non-significant negative trends were also evident for carnivore and wild boar), whereas variables related to food availability (grass biomass, Hemipteran abundance and total invertebrate mass) had a positive effect in the same season. Moreover, deer and carnivore abundances and spring nest predation rate were negatively associated with partridge abundance in autumn. Plant biomass and Hemipteran abundance were negatively correlated with wild boar abundance, whereas maximum pasture height was negatively related to red deer and wild boar abundance. Overall, our results show that high ungulate densities may negatively affect partridge abundance, which may be mediated by (i) a reduction in food availability (invertebrate and herbaceous plant biomass) and (ii) nest predation by wild boar. This research has shown that current intensive big-game hunting management schemes in south-central Spain are often incompatible with red-legged partridge conservation, and that these effects should be taken into account when defining big-game management and conservation policies.
... Abomasal (Ostertagia spp. and Haemonchus spp.), intestinal (Nematodirus spp., Moniezia spp., Eimeria spp.), hepatic (Fasciola hepatica and Dicrocoelium spp.) (Pérez et al., 2006;Alasaad et al., 2008) and pulmonary parasites (Protostrongylidae sp., Dictyocaulus spp.) (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Alasaad et al., 2009) are frequently detected in the individuals analyzed. ...
Article
Full-text available
Parasite load in the Iberian ibex, Capra pyrenaica victoriae.— Parasitic infections in the Iberian ibex are common, serious and well documented. Most studies, however, focus on the subspecies Capra pyrenaica hispanica, found in the south and east of the Iberian peninsula, and few studies have investigated the subspecies Capra pyrenaica victoriae in the centre of the peninsula. Here we add to the information about C. p. victoriae, analyzing samples of this subspecies in the National Park of Sierra de Guadarrama. We found parasites in 97% of samples and identified a total of 11 helminth taxa. The most abundant genus in the analysis was Muellerius. Despite the frequency of parasites, the general health of the population seemed good.
... The wild goat is categorized as 'Vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to considerable population decrease of probably more than 30% over the last three generations (Weinberg et al. 2008). Poaching, competition for food with domestic livestock and habitat destruction are the major threats (Acevedo & Cassinello 2009). The estimated 6500 individuals throughout Iran (Genov et al. 2009) can be found in the central mountain ranges to the Alborz and Zagros heights, and to the cliffs off the coasts of Persian Gulf and Oman Sea (Abbasian et al. 2004; Shams et al. 2010). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Review of potential monitoring techniques for a standardized and nationwide monitoring of ungulates in Iran
... Accordingly, maintaining stable ungulate populations is an important conservation target (Suryawanshi et al. 2012). Most Iranian ungulate populations however, have experienced critical population declines as a result of heavy poaching, habitat destruction, fragmentation and competition with livestock (Kiabi 1978as cited in Valdez 2008Ziaie 1997;Hemami & Groves 2001as cited in Mallon 2008Karami et al. 2002;Farhadinia 2004;Lovari et al. 2008;Mallon 2008;Valdez 2008;Acevedo & Cassinello 2009). ...
Technical Report
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Progress report: fieldwork phase 1 NUMP (Iran) Summary and discussion of initially tested methods
... Granados et al., 1998;Palomares and Ruiz-Martínez, 1993;Lasso De La Vega, 1994;Pérez et al., 1994;Gortazar et al., 2000). Acevedo and Cassinello (2009) report that one of the main threats to conservation of this species is the increasing presence of domestic livestock, which can compete for resources (e.g. Acevedo et al., 2007) and transmit diseases to wild ungulates (see examples in Gortázar et al., 2006). ...
... However, the main cause for the near extinction of Alpine ibex was most likely overhunting and possibly also an increased competition with domestic ungulates (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009;Chririchella, Apollonio & Putman, ;Stüwe & Nievergelt, 1991). Alpine ibex are among a large number of species, in particular large mammals, which went through human-induced bottlenecks up to extinctions (Ripple et al., 2016). ...
Article
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Population bottlenecks can have dramatic consequences for the health and long‐term survival of a species. Understanding of historic population size and standing genetic variation prior to a contraction allows estimating the impact of a bottleneck on the species genetic diversity. Although historic population sizes can be modelled based on extant genomics, uncertainty is high for the last 10‐20 millenia. Hence, integrating ancient genomes provides a powerful complement to retrace the evolution of genetic diversity through population fluctuations. Here, we recover 15 high‐quality mitogenomes of the once nearly extinct Alpine ibex spanning 8601 BP to 1919 CE and combine these with 60 published modern whole genomes. Coalescent demography simulations based on modern whole genomes indicate population fluctuations coinciding with the last major glaciation period. Using our ancient and historic mitogenomes, we investigate the more recent demographic history of the species and show that mitochondrial haplotype diversity was reduced to a fifth of the pre‐bottleneck diversity with several highly differentiated mitochondrial lineages having co‐existed historically. The main collapse of mitochondrial diversity coincides with elevated human population growth during the last 1‐2 kya. After recovery, one lineage was spread and nearly fixed across the Alps due to recolonization efforts. Our study highlights that a combined approach integrating genomic data of ancient, historic and extant populations unravels major long‐term population fluctuations from the emergence of a species through its near extinction up to the recent past.
... Their combination of grazing and browsing behaviour means that they have great flexibility in their dietary behaviour, already observed archaeologically 104 , and thus may have been able to continue existing the ericaceous landscape that proved challenging to the ibex. Ibex are known to have a high plasticity in the feeding strategies depending on ecological constraints 105 , and it is possible that the ibex populations were being pushed away from the ericaceous vegetation communities of the 15 N depleted heathlands and were consuming a different diet. The mobility of ibex reduces when food sources are scarcer and encounter www.nature.com/scientificreports ...
Article
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The Upper Palaeolithic in Europe was a time of extensive climatic changes that impacted on the survival and distribution of human populations. During the Late Glacial Maximum (LGM), southern European peninsulas were refugia for flora, fauna, and human groups. One of these refugia, the Cantabrian region (northern Atlantic Spain), was intensively occupied throughout the Upper Palaeolithic. Characterising how climatic events were expressed in local environments is crucial to understand human and animal survival. La Riera Cave (Asturias) has a rich geo-cultural sequence dating between 20.5kyr BP to 6.5kyr BP and represents an ideal location in which to explore this. Stable isotope analysis of red deer and ibex is used alongside other environmental and climatic proxies to reconstruct Late Upper Palaeolithic conditions. Results show that during the LGM, ibex adapted their niche to survive, and became a major prey species for humans. The diverse environmental opportunities offered in the high-relief and coastal environs of La Riera may help to explain the high human population levels in the Cantabrian Region throughout the Late Upper Palaeolithic. Despite fluctuating conditions, herbivores and humans had the flexibility and resilience to adapt, demonstrating the importance of southern European refugia for the survival of different species.
... The Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is an ungulate endemic to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and suffered a sharp decline that nearly led to their extinction by the mid-twentieth century. Since, its populations have been recovering and expanding in much of its former range (Acevedo and Cassinello 2009). The Barbary sheep or aoudad (Ammotragus lervia) is an ungulate from North Africa and the Sahel that has been introduced in different areas, including Spain, for sport hunting since the mid-60s and have subsequently expanded (Cassinello et al. 2006). ...
Article
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Wild medium-sized ungulate populations are recovering in many countries of the Northern Hemisphere due to abandonment of rural areas but also due to the translocation of native and exotic ungulates for game hunting. To assess the role of landscape connectivity, habitat suitability and interspecific interactions driving the simultaneous range expansion of two wild ungulates, one native (Iberian ibex, Capra pyrenaica) and one exotic species (Barbary sheep, Ammotragus lervia), in southeastern Spain. We reconstructed the expansion process of the Iberian ibex and the Barbary sheep in southeastern Spain for the period 1975–2009 by means of Local Ecological Knowledge and tested the role of habitat suitability, landscape connectivity and interspecific competition during the expansion process by means of GLMM. Habitat suitability was assessed by means of ecological niche modeling and landscape connectivity was represented by competing resistance surface dispersal models. Our results show that at the landscape scale both species are ecologically very similar, although the Iberian ibex is more specialized in less transformed landscapes. Landscape connectivity was the main driver of the colonization process, followed by habitat suitability. From a connectivity point of view, both species showed a coarse perception of the landscape, recognizing three main use types: natural, agricultural and human. Major linear infrastructures do not affect the colonization process. Our colonization models also suggest a negative interaction of the Iberian ibex on the Barbary sheep. The exotic Barbary sheep and the native Iberian ibex are two ungulate species very similar ecologically whose simultaneous expansion process in southeastern Spain are driven by landscape connectivity followed by habitat suitability. In addition, the Iberian ibex affects negatively the colonization ability of the Barbary sheep. Overall, our work deepens our understanding on two pressing issues simultaneously: (i) controls of the range expansion of ungulates at the landscape scale and (ii) how a native and an introduced species interact during their expansion process.
... This would not correspond to the usual preference of the sheep, which tend to prefer pastures (Hofmann, 1989), but in certain environments like the Mediterranean they may be browsers (Bartolomé et al., 1998;Papachristou, 1997;Rogosic et al., 2006;Valderrábano et al., 1996). The same applies to other species such as cattle, which can also browsers in Mediterranean environments (Bartolomé et al., 2011;Brosh et al., 2006;Schoenbaum et al., 2018), or the Iberian ibex, which is mixed feeder depending on plant availability (Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;Martínez, 2008). Another factor to take into account is that feeding in domestic animals is more difficult to characterize from microwear than that of wild species, due to a greater number of variables to take into account. ...
Article
Sheep predominate the Early Neolithic faunal assemblages in the Iberian Peninsula. Their exploitation for meat and milk production made them key to the economy of these early farming societies. Management of sheep breeding season and feeding in the context of the local environment were decisive in obtaining these livestock products. This work focuses on these aspects through stable isotope and dental microwear analyses on sheep teeth from the cave of Chaves (Huesca, Spain). The results show the existence of “out of season” (autumn/early winter) sheep births in the Early Neolithic, contrasting significantly with spring lambing prevailing in Neolithic husbandries elsewhere in Europe and confirming the antiquity of a western Mediterranean characteristic in this regard. Furthermore, little changes in sheep diet throughout the year have been documented, as far as could be evidenced from stable carbon isotope ratios and dental microwear. Only two individuals showed higher variability in diet on a seasonal scale with possible contribution of C4 plants, possibly from grazing in the valley steppes at lower altitudes. Overall the results suggest good adaptation of sheep to the Pyrenean mid-altitude environment and strong zootechnical knowledge of the earliest shepherds in this area.
... In Spain, there is a tradition of wild ungulate hunting (Pérez et al. 2002, Acevedo and Cassinello 2009, Fandos et al. 2010, with the iconic Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) being the most desirable target among all game species. Trophy prices are considerable (e.g., Iberian ibex subspecies [C. ...
Article
Size‐selective harvesting of wild ungulates can trigger a range of ecological and evolutionary consequences. It remains unclear how environmental conditions, including changes in habitat, climate, and local weather conditions, dilute or strengthen the effects of trophy hunting. We analyzed horn length measurements of 2,815 male ibex (Capra pyrenaica) that were harvested from 1995 to 2017 in Els Ports de Tortosa i Beseit National Hunting Reserve in northeastern Spain. We used linear mixed models to determine the magnitude of inter‐individual horn growth variability and partial least square path models to evaluate long‐term effects of environmental change, population size, and hunting strategy on horn growth. Age‐specific horn length significantly decreased over the study period, and nearly a quarter (23%) of its annual variation was attributed to individual heterogeneity among males. The encroachment of pine (Pinus spp.) forests had a negative effect on annual horn growth, possibly through nutritional impoverishment. The harvesting of trophy and selective individuals (e.g., small‐horned males) from the entire population increased horn growth, probably because it reduced the competition for resources and prevented breeding of these smaller males. Local weather conditions and population size did not influence horn growth. Our study demonstrates how habitat changes are altering the horn growth of male ibex. We suggest that habitat interventions, such the thinning of pine forests, can contribute to securing the sustainability of trophy hunting. Even in situations where size‐selective harvesting is not causing a detectable phenotypic response, management actions leading to the expansion of preferred land cover types, such as grass‐rich open areas, can have a positive effect on ungulate fitness. Forest encroachment on open meadows and heterogeneous grasslands is pervasive throughout Mediterranean ecosystems. Therefore, our management recommendations can be extended to the landscape level, which will have the potential to mitigate the side effects of habitat deterioration on the phenotypic traits of wild ibex. © 2020 The Wildlife Society. The encroachment of coniferous forests and the consequent loss of natural pastures had a negative effect on the annual horn growth of male ibex inhabiting a Mediterranean ecosystem. The selective harvesting of small‐horned males had a positive effect on annual horn growth. The expansion of grass‐rich open areas should be prioritized to reduce the negative effects of habitat deterioration on the phenotypic traits of male ibex.
... Whereas this wild caprine has recovered and expanded in some regions, in others, the trend in population size has been decreasing in the last few decades. Major factors accounting for the decline in these populations include loss of genetic diversity, imbalances in age structure and sex ratio, the progressive destruction and fragmentation of their natural habitat, uncontrolled hunting and disease (Acevedo & Cassinello, 2009). While it is known that this species can act as reservoir of certain pathogens, knowledge of its role in the epidemiology of shared diseases remains scarce and tends to be limited to cross-sectional studies focused on relatively small geographical areas (Astorga Márquez et al., 2014;González-Candela, Cubero-Pablo, Martín-Atance, & León-Vizcaíno, 2006). ...
Article
An epidemiological surveillance program was carried out to assess exposure and spatio‐temporal patterns of selected pathogens (Brucella spp., Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), Mycoplasma agalactiae, Pestivirus and bluetongue virus (BTV)) in Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) from Andalusia (southern Spain), the region with the largest population of this species. A total of 602 animals in five distribution areas were sampled during 2010‐2012 (P1) and 2013‐2015 (P2). The Rose Bengal test (BRT) and complement fixation test (CFT) were used in parallel to detect anti‐Brucella spp. antibodies. Commercial ELISAs were used to test for antibodies against the other selected pathogens. Sera positive for BTV and Pestivirus by ELISA were tested by serum neutralization test (SNT) to identify circulating serotypes/genotypes. The overall seroprevalences were: 0.4% for Brucella spp. (2/549; CI95%: 0.1‐1.3) (14/555 positive by RBT; 2/564 by CFT), 0.5% for MAP (3/564; CI95%: 0.1‐1.5), 5.7% for M. agalactiae (30/529; CI95%: 3.9‐8.0), 11.1% for Pestivirus (58/525; CI95%: 8.5‐14.1) and 3.3% for BTV (18/538; CI95%: 2.0‐5.2). Significantly higher seropositivity to both M. agalactiae and BTV was observed in P1 compared to P2. Spatiotemporal clusters of high seroprevalence were also found for M. agalactiae in four of the five sampling areas in 2010, and for BTV in one of five areas in 2012. Specific antibodies against BTV‐4, BDV‐4 and BVDV‐1 were confirmed by SNT. Our results indicate that the Iberian ibex may be considered spillover hosts of Brucella spp. and MAP rather than true reservoirs. The prevalence of antibodies against M. agalactiae and BTV suggests spatiotemporal variation in the circulation of these pathogens, while Pestivirus has a moderately endemic circulation in Iberian ibex populations. Our study highlights the importance of long‐term surveillance for a better understanding of the spatiotemporal distribution of shared infectious diseases and providing valuable information to improve control measures at the wildlife‐livestock interface.
... Bison bonasus 710 420 20 Mixed forests Krasińska and Krasiński, 1995;van Wieren, 1996;Krasińska et al., 2000;Codron and Clauss, 2010;Ripple et al., 2015;Ofstad et al., 2016 Ibex Capra ibex 95 45 11 Alpine grassland Hofmann, 1989;van Wieren, 1996;Codron and Clauss, 2010;Ofstad et al., 2016 Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica 70 35 7 Shrubland areas Alados, 1986;Fandos et al., 1989;van Wieren, 1996;Santiago-Moreno et al., 2007;Acevedo and Cassinello, 2009;Codron and Clauss, 2010 Roe deer Capreolus capreolus 28 26 5 Mixed Hofmann, 1989;van Wieren, 1996;Codron and Clauss, 2010;Ofstad et al., 2016 Elk Caughley, 1976;Owen-Smith, 1988;van Wieren, 1996;Archie et al., 2006;Blanc, 2007;Bates et al., 2008;Cerling et al., 2009;Codron and Clauss, 2010 Mule deer Odocoileus hemionus 80 50 3 Mixed Anderson et al., 1974;Wallmo, 1981;Anderson and Wallmo, 1984;Hofmann, 1989;van Wieren, 1996;Geist, 1998;Crete and Daigle, 1999;Kie and Czech, 2000;Codron and Clauss, 2010;Ofstad et al., 2016 White-tailed deer ...
Thesis
Les effets des changements globaux sur les habitats naturels sont de plus en plus perceptibles, et comprendre comment les animaux y répondent est nécessaire pour une meilleure gestion de leurs populations. C’est en effet à travers leur impact sur l’environnement, et essentiellement sur les habitats, que les activités humaines ont souvent le plus grand effet sur les écosystèmes, à travers le changement climatique, la fragmentation, la destruction de l'habitat, les changements dans l'utilisation des terres ou la surexploitation des ressources. Les ongulés constituent un exemple marquant de progression numérique et spatiale d’une guilde d’espèces dans des écosystèmes impactés par l’Homme. Cet essor démographique est à l’origine d’un nombre croissant d’interactions entre Homme et faune et place la gestion de ces espèces au cœur des préoccupations des politiques publiques. Dans ce contexte, j’ai étudié cinq espèces de grands ongulés sauvages : le chamois, le mouflon, le bouquetin, le chevreuil et le cerf, dans le cadre du projet Mov-It (Ungulates MOVing across heterogeneous landscapes: identifying behavioural processes linking global change to spatially-explicIT demographic performance and management), soutenu par l’Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR). Dans un premier temps, je mets en évidence les liens entre variations intraspécifiques de la taille du domaine vital saisonnier des ongulés, le paysage (i.e. les ressources, le risque et l’hétérogénéité) et les traits d’histoire de vie de ces espèces. Je me suis ensuite intéressée plus particulièrement à l’influence des structures linéaires anthropiques et naturelles du paysage sur l'utilisation individuelle de l'espace. Je montre ainsi que les grands herbivores utilisent des structures linéaires du paysage pour délimiter leur domaine vital mensuel, mais que l'importance relative de ces structures linéaires dans la délimitation du domaine vital mensuel diminuait à mesure que leur densité augmentait dans le paysage local. Je mets également en évidence le caractère risqué des structures anthropiques pour les ongulés, en particulier l'effet de l'intensité de l’utilisation humaine de ces structures sur le nombre de traversées par les mouflons. Enfin, l’importance de la prise en compte du paysage du risque et des ressources sur l’organisation sociale est démontré. En effet, la formation de dyades (i.e. paires d’individus) est plus probable dans les milieux ouverts riche en ressources et lorsque le risque, incluant prédation et dérangement, est le plus fort (i.e. le jour). L’ensemble des résultats présentés dans ce travail de thèse a permis d’améliorer notre compréhension des effets de la structure du paysage et de la socialité sur la sélection d’habitat et le mouvement chez différentes espèces d’ongulés.
... Cross-transmission of sarcoptic mange between different host species has been widely studied in experimental trials and spontaneous cases. Although sarcoptic mange infection is widespread in the Iberian ibex populations [39,40,52,[62][63][64][65], to date no cross-transmission of S. scabiei with wild boar has been reported. In addition, literature of sarcoptic mange in wild boars is scarce, contrasting with extensive descriptions in domestic pigs [7,9,32,66,67]. ...
Article
Background: Sarcoptic mange is a globally distributed parasitic disease caused by the burrowing mite Sarcoptes sca-biei. This mite has a certain degree of host specificity, although interspecific transmission can occur among phyloge-netically related species or through prey-predator mediated exposure. In 2018, a wild boar (Sus scrofa) with lesions compatible with sarcoptic mange was hunted in Ports de Tortosa i Beseit Natural Park (PTB, northeastern Spain), where an active epizootic outbreak of sarcoptic mange is affecting Iberian ibexes (Capra pyrenaica) since 2014. Methods: A complete necropsy, skin scrapings and skin digestions with hydroxide potassium were performed to confirm the diagnosis. Routine histopathological analysis, toluidine blue staining and immunohistochemistry were used to characterize the lesions and the inflammatory infiltrate. Finally, 10 specific S. scabiei microsatellites were molecularly genotyped through polymerase chain reactions in mites obtained from the affected wild boar. For phylo-genetic comparison, mites obtained from sympatric Iberian ibexes and allopatric wild boars and Iberian ibexes from southern Spain were analysed. Results: Sarcoptes scabiei was visually and molecularly identified in the infested wild boar from PTB, causing skin lesions with dermal inflammatory infiltrate rich in T and B cells, which indicate an adaptive immune response. Three S. scabiei genetic clusters were identified: one included mites from southern Iberian ibexes, another included mites from southern wild boars, and a third one distinctively grouped the wild boar from PTB with the sympatric ibexes. Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of sarcoptic mange in wild boar in Spain and the first documented case of S. scabiei cross-transmission from a wild ruminant host to a wild boar. The wild boar presented an ordinary scabies type reaction, which is typical of the self-limiting infestations reported in other cases of interspecific transmission.
... Cross-transmission of sarcoptic mange between different host species has been widely studied in experimental trials and spontaneous cases. Although sarcoptic mange infection is widespread in the Iberian ibex populations [39,40,52,[62][63][64][65], to date no cross-transmission of S. scabiei with wild boar has been reported. In addition, literature of sarcoptic mange in wild boars is scarce, contrasting with extensive descriptions in domestic pigs [7,9,32,66,67]. ...
Article
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Background Sarcoptic mange is a globally distributed parasitic disease caused by the burrowing mite Sarcoptes scabiei . This mite has a certain degree of host specificity, although interspecific transmission can occur among phylogenetically related species or through prey–predator mediated exposure. In 2018, a wild boar ( Sus scrofa ) with lesions compatible with sarcoptic mange was hunted in Ports de Tortosa i Beseit Natural Park (PTB, north-eastern Spain), where an active epizootic outbreak of sarcoptic mange is affecting Iberian ibexes ( Capra pyrenaica ) since 2014. Methods A complete necropsy, skin scrapings and skin digestions with hydroxide potassium were performed to confirm the diagnosis. Routine histopathological analysis, toluidine blue staining and immunohistochemistry were used to characterize the lesions and the inflammatory infiltrate. Finally, 10 specific S. scabiei microsatellites were molecularly genotyped through polymerase chain reactions in mites obtained from the affected wild boar. For phylogenetic comparison, mites obtained from sympatric Iberian ibexes and allopatric wild boars and Iberian ibexes from southern Spain were analysed. Results Sarcoptes scabiei was visually and molecularly identified in the infested wild boar from PTB, causing skin lesions with dermal inflammatory infiltrate rich in T and B cells, which indicate an adaptive immune response. Three S. scabiei genetic clusters were identified: one included mites from southern Iberian ibexes, another included mites from southern wild boars, and a third one distinctively grouped the wild boar from PTB with the sympatric ibexes. Conclusions To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of sarcoptic mange in wild boar in Spain and the first documented case of S. scabiei cross-transmission from a wild ruminant host to a wild boar. The wild boar presented an ordinary scabies type reaction, which is typical of the self-limiting infestations reported in other cases of interspecific transmission. Graphical abstract
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The Asiatic ibex (Capra sibirica), the largest member of the genus Capra, is widely distributed in Central and South Asia. It is a primitive ibex species of the family Bovidae that is distinct from other ibex species. The Asiatic ibex is distributed in highland landscapes characterized by challenging terrains that have resulted in incomplete knowledge of this species. To understand the research advances in this species, this review summarizes the taxonomic position, global distribution, population size, foraging ecology, sexual segregation, health threat by diseases, and potential threats and conservation biology. Besides, this species is facing increasing impacts of anthropogenic activities and habitat loss induced by global climate change. It also proposes new research perspectives and priorities to understand the advanced ecology of the Asiatic ibex. We also highlight a suite of research gaps that require multidisciplinary approaches. These will increase understanding of the evolution, biology, ecology, and epidemiology of this species.
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How is extinction problematised through biotechnological and ecological interventions, and how might such mediations elucidate different understandings of biotic loss and recovery? The bucardo—an endemic ibex from the Pyrenees—is the only extinct animal to have ever been cloned, and for seven short minutes in 2003, 'extinction was not forever.' Using the bucardo’s extinction as a starting point, rather than an ending, this paper addresses the ‘spectral ecologies’ of the Pyrenees. Drawing upon interviews and extensive ethnographic work conducted in Spain and France, I discuss the implications of this cloning project, and examine the various ways in which it is contested. Speculative futures of bucardo clones ‘returning’ to the Pyrenees seem unlikely, however, following the successful introductions of another subspecies of ibex to the French Pyrenees in 2014. Such events—following the mobilities and geographies of the ibex themselves—invalidate justifications for cloning in conservation. Spectral ecologies are characterised through the unsettling of—and departures from—linear temporalities. I broaden the ontological scope of species resurrection to attend to phenotypic shifts associated with ecological restoration projects, which I call ‘de/extinction.’ De/extinction unsettles a range of epistemological assumptions concerning two of conservation’s key concepts: species and extinction. Introduced ibex in the Pyrenees are beginning to resemble the defining features of bucardo with every new generation, a fascinating reworking of the bucardo’s absence. The figure of the ghost brings to the fore multiple pasts and futures, human and nonhuman, materialising and affecting bodies in spectral ecologies. This case offers a theoretical advance to the field of extinction studies and cultural geographies in considering different meanings of ‘the end,’ and the imagined futures of ‘lost’ biota.
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During the development of the research project “Recovery of paleontological, remains, cataloging and dating of the Pleistocene-Holocene deposits of Huesca Pyrenees caves” various cavities of Huesca Pyrenees have been prospected in search of new paleontological sites. Eight cavities located in the Sierra de Secús, Barranco Jardín, Los Lecherines, Sierra de Tendeñera and Serrato Gallisué were found or confirmed as new paleontological sites. We have also continued the excavation of sites previously worked such as Brecha del Rincón cave and Osos de Lecherines cave. By studying the faunal remains recovered from these deposits we confirmed the presence of numerous remains of Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica (Pyrenean wild goat locally named bucardo), Ursus arctos (brown bear) and Ursus deningeri. In the Bucardos Cave two nearly complete bucardo skeletons Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica have been recovered. These remains gave a radiocarbon age of 5500-3500 years before present, respectively. These skeletons are the most complete remains of this mountain goat subspecies in the global record. In the same cavity, fossil remains from two much older (isotopic period MIS3) bucardo specimens gave a radiocarbon age of 50 000 – 40 000 years BP. This dating indicates that the presence of bucardos in the Huesca Pyrenees is older than previously stated by several authors. Besides, the record of ursids from the Pyrenees has been remarkably broadened by the recovery of Ursus deningeri fossil remains (Middle Pleistocene) from the recently discovered Brecha del Rincón cave, and Ursus arctos fossil remains from several cavities. In addition, traces of the ursids occupation were observed, such as hibernation beds in the Osos de Lecherines cave and scratches in Forato de la Sierra cave.
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Prehistoric and recent extinctions of large-bodied terrestrial herbivores had significant and lasting impacts on Earth’s ecosystems due to the loss of their distinct trait combinations. The world’s surviving large-bodied avian and mammalian herbivores remain among the most threatened taxa. As such, a greater understanding of the ecological impacts of large herbivore losses is increasingly important. However, comprehensive and ecologically-relevant trait datasets for extinct and extant herbivores are lacking. Here, we present HerbiTraits , a comprehensive functional trait dataset for all late Quaternary terrestrial avian and mammalian herbivores ≥10 kg (545 species). HerbiTraits includes key traits that influence how herbivores interact with ecosystems, namely body mass, diet, fermentation type, habitat use, and limb morphology. Trait data were compiled from 557 sources and comprise the best available knowledge on late Quaternary large-bodied herbivores. HerbiTraits provides a tool for the analysis of herbivore functional diversity both past and present and its effects on Earth’s ecosystems.
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A database of Neanderthal raw material transports and fauna from assemblages across Europe has been compiled with the aim to explore the evolution of the Neanderthals’ mobility behaviour with regard to the environment from the beginning of the Late Saalian (191 ka BP) to the demise of Neanderthals (40 ka BP). Mobility, as observed from the lithic transports in the Palaeolithic, is often interpreted as mirroring the social organisation of a group. As the study of Neanderthal mobility normally focuses on the maximum transport distances of lithics, such a methodology is seen as inadequate because three equifinal processes (subsistence activity, social transactions, and semi-random lithic scavenging) can account for these distances. Here, two different indicators of Neanderthal mobility are created based on the transport distances, quantities, and number of utilised raw material sources. The first one is the overall mobility, which represents the sum of the effort made to acquire all lithics from all sources. The second indicator is the mean effort per raw material, which quantifies the average effort made to acquire the different raw materials present in that assemblage. By analysing Neanderthal mobility in terms of these two variables, it is shown that Neanderthal social organisation evolves from the Saalian to the Early and Late Weichselian. This change is interpreted as reflecting diversification of their subsistence behaviour and as reflecting a tendency to optimise their foraging behaviour through decision making. In subsequent statistical analyses, it is demonstrated that there are no real differences in Neanderthal mobility between the east and the west, and that Neanderthals appear to have preferred semi-open landscapes, but somewhat avoided montane regions. The presence of the Mammoth Steppe was not noted as having either a negative or a positive impact on Neanderthals’ level of mobility. The apparent preference for semi-open landscapes and the variation in the different environments implies that they were top carnivores that may have exercised encounter-based hunting, which may explain their body type and injury patterns identified previously.
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The names of southwestern European goats: is Iberian ibex the best common name for Capra pyrenaica? The common name designated to a species is important because it connects specialists with non–experts. The matter of the correct common name is relevant to the conservation and management of conspicuous or flag species. The English name 'Spanish ibex' to designate Capra pyrenaica is extensive in the scientific literature, and some have defended its appropriateness. However, in our opinion, it is not the best term to designate this species. We propose that 'Iberian wild goat' should be used. Herein, we review the etymology, history, taxonomy and public use of the names used to designate goats (domestic and wild) in southwestern Europe during the last two millennia. Used first by Pliny the Elder, the name 'ibex' has been applied most often for the Alpine wild goat (C. ibex), and few authors applied this name to C. pyrenaica until the 20th century when some influential works extended its use in the scientific literature. Adult males of C. pyrenaica have lyre–shaped, and typically smooth horns that do not match the ibex morphotype, which has scimitar–shaped knotted horns. Although C. pyrenaica and C. ibex are probably phylogenetically close, their common names do not necessarily have to match. The rules of common names differ from those of scientific names. Cabra montés or cabra brava (wild goat) is the common name used by most authors in the Iberian peninsula. This name is deeply entrenched in the Iberian languages and has been used since the earliest references to the species in mediaeval times. We propose the adoption of 'Iberian wild goat' for legal and scientific communication and when interacting with the media.
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The names of southwestern European goats: is Iberian ibex the best common name for Capra pyrenaica? The common name designated to a species is important because it connects specialists with non–experts. The matter of the correct common name is relevant to the conservation and management of conspicuous or flag species. The English name 'Spanish ibex' to designate Capra pyrenaica is extensive in the scientific literature, and some have defended its appropriateness. However, in our opinion, it is not the best term to designate this species. We propose that 'Iberian wild goat' should be used. Herein, we review the etymology, history, taxonomy and public use of the names used to designate goats (domestic and wild) in southwestern Europe during the last two millennia. Used first by Pliny the Elder, the name 'ibex' has been applied most often for the Alpine wild goat (C. ibex), and few authors applied this name to C. pyrenaica until the 20th century when some influential works extended its use in the scientific literature. Adult males of C. pyrenaica have lyre–shaped, and typically smooth horns that do not match the ibex morphotype, which has scimitar–shaped knotted horns. Although C. pyrenaica and C. ibex are probably phylogenetically close, their common names do not necessarily have to match. The rules of common names differ from those of scientific names. Cabra montés or cabra brava (wild goat) is the common name used by most authors in the Iberian peninsula. This name is deeply entrenched in the Iberian languages and has been used since the earliest references to the species in mediaeval times. We propose the adoption of 'Iberian wild goat' for legal and scientific communication and when interacting with the media.
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Between early October and mid‐December 2018, mortalities were detected in Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica ) populations in southern Spain. In the same region and period, bluetongue virus (BTV) circulation was also reported in sentinel and clinically‐affected domestic ruminant herds. Molecular analyses confirmed BTV serotype 4 (BTV‐4) infection in eight Iberian ibexes from six hunting areas, and in 46 domestic ruminants from seven herds in close proximity to affected hunting estates. Histopathological analyses revealed vascular changes in several organs, pneumonia, lymphoid depletion, inflammatory mononuclear cell infiltrate and fibrosis as the most frequently observed lesions in the affected Iberian ibexes. Epidemiological and laboratory results indicate that BTV‐4 was the main etiological agent involved in outbreaks detected in Iberian ibex populations during the study period. Sequence analyses indicated that the BTV‐4 strain detected in Iberian ibex had high homology (99.4‐100%) with strains isolated in livestock during the same period, and with previous isolates (≥98.9%) from Spain and Mediterranean Basin countries. Further studies are warranted to determine the impact of BTV‐4 on the health status of Iberian ibex populations after the outbreaks. The inclusion of this species in the surveillance program may be useful for early detection of BTV, especially in epidemiological scenarios at the wildlife‐livestock interface.
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The spectacle of de-extinction is often forward facing at the interface of science fiction and speculative fact, haunted by extinction’s pasts. Missing from this discourse, however, is a robust theorization of de-extinction in the present. This article presents recent developments in the emergent fields of resurrection biology and liminality to conceptualize the anabiotic (not living nor dead) state of de/extinction. Through two stories, this article explores the epistemological perturbation caused by the suspended animation of genetic material. Contrasting the genomic stories of the bucardo, a now extinct subspecies of Iberian ibex whose genome was preserved before the turn of the millennium, and the woolly mammoth, whose genome is still a work in progress, the author poses questions concerning the existential authenticity of this genomic anabiosis. They serve as archetypal illustrations of salvaged and synthesized anabiotic creatures. De/extinction is presented as a liminal state of being, both living and dead, both fact and fiction, a realm that we have growing access to through the proliferation of synthetic biology and cryopreservation. The article concludes through a presentation of anabiotic geographies, postulating on the changing biocultural significances we attach to organisms both extinct and extant, and considering their implications for the contemporary extinction crisis.
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Durante las últimas décadas se ha acrecentado la preocupación en la sociedad sobre el cambio global, en el que destacan los cambios en los usos del suelo y en el clima. Si bien el planeta siempre ha estado sujeto a este tipo de cambios, actualmente nos encontramos en una fase en la que las tasas de cambio se han acelerado notablemente, lo que ha provocado alteraciones severas en la biodiversidad. En este trabajo revisamos y carac- terizamos los cambios ocurridos en los usos del suelo en el sur de España desde 1960 con el fin de comprender su efecto sobre los patrones de distribución y abundancia de las principales especies cinegéticas, tanto de caza mayor como de caza menor. En general, se ha observado un aumento en las áreas favorables para las especies de caza mayor, especialmente evidente en las regiones montañosas, donde, por el contrario, las áreas favorables para las especies de caza menor han disminuido significativamente. Basándonos en el efecto de los cambios en el pasado reciente, discutimos las estrategias de gestión más adecuadas para cada una de ellas.
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Foraging habits and factors most influencing diet selection in the Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica) were analysed in the Sierra de Gredos area (central western Spain). Diet selection was analysed on the basis of plant availability and chemical composition. The most abundant herbaceous species in the study area were Nardus stricta, Festuca indigesta and Deschampsia flexuosa, while Cytisus purgans was the most abundant woody species. The diet of the Spanish ibex is primarily herbaceous throughout the year and consists essentially of grasses. Diet selection was primarily determined by forage availability, although plant digestibility and fibre content were also important. Digestibility had more influence on food choice in spring, when cell wall related parameters had less influence. The foraging strategy of Spanish ibex consists of consuming the most locally abundant species, many of which are fibre-rich.
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La cabra montés de los Pirineos (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica Schinz, 1838), localmente llamada bucardo, es uno de los pocos grandes mamíferos europeos al borde de la extinción (Natura 2000 Newsletter, Feb. 1999). En la reciente revisión realizada por el Specialist Caprinae Group de la IUCN era catalogado como “En Peligro Crítico” (CR) (Shackleton 1997). En el momento actual podría decirse que el bucardo se encuentra virtualmente extinto. Durante los dos últimos años tan sólo se tiene constancia de la existencia de una hembra vieja en la zona refugio del Valle de Arazas en el Pirineo Central. Los esfuerzos realizados en la búsqueda de más individuos en otras zonas cercanas han sido infructuosos (Seijas 1998). A mediados de los años 90 se constataba la casi segura ausencia de machos. Desde ese momento la subespecie estaba condenada a la extinción, al menos en su estado natural. Sin embargo, durante los últimos 10 años se han dedicado muchos más esfuerzos por lograr su recuperación que en todo lo que va de siglo. Importantes medios económicos y técnicos se han puesto a disposición del objetivo de su recuperación. Desafortunadamente se emprendieron demasiado tarde. El texto que sigue es una breve descripción de las actuaciones más relevantes llevadas a cabo durante los últimos 10 años, junto con algunas reflexiones y enseñanzas que podemos extraer de cara al futuro.
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We examined seasonal use of habitat by male and female alpine ibexes (Capra ibex ibex) in the Bargy Massif, French Alps. No differences in use of habitat between sexes were found during rut. In winter, both sexes were restricted to southern aspects at low elevations and showed affinity for cliffs and brushy habitat, but avoided bare rocks. Males were found less on cliffs and at higher elevations in winter than females; that difference persisted throughout the year. In spring, females used grassland habitat more than males, but the opposite occurred during the rest of the year. During the period of parturition, females generally used cliffs, probably as an anti-predator strategy or to reduce disturbances by humans. Habitat segregation between sexes was lower in summer than in spring. Except during rut and winter, females used areas with vegetation in earlier phenological stages more than males. Males used a greater diversity of habitat types than females throughout the year. Our data show that sexual segregation in use of habitat in alpine ibexes depends on several ecological and reproductive factors and varies seasonally.
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1994. Population dynamic of the Spanish ibex Capra pyrenaica in Sierra Nevada Natural Park (southern Spain). Acta theriol. 39: 289-294. The whole are a of distribution of the Spanish ibex Capra pyrenaica Schinz, 1838 population of Sierra Nevada Natural Park was surveyed for the first time during July-August 1993 and the densities were estimated by using the line transects method. A IDean density of 7.69 :t 0.50 ibexes/km2 was obtained, with sex ratio (males/ /females) of 0.80 and kids/adult females rate of 0.39. Data Oil size and composition of groups and on altitudinal distribution are alBo included. The demographic trend of ibexes in Sierra Nevada during last 30 years is reconstructed on the basis of data referred to the National Game Reserve, located within OUTstudy aTea,
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Sarcoptic mange has been affecting the Sierra Nevada ibex population since 1992, if not longer. As local inf nation on the dynamics of scabies is needed if we try to prevent and central the disease, a monitoring program was started in August 1992. Data obtained revealed that females were significantly more infested thaft males. Monthly prevalence showed a marked seasonal pattern and it was related to temperature and rainfall of previous months. On the other hand, contrary to the expected evolution of mange, a decrease in prevalence in later years or the study was observed. Moreover, the scabies-induced-mortality did not reach high levels and the ibex population density is still increasing.
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Abstract: The Spanish ibex Capra pyrenaica (Schinz 1838) is an endemic mountain ungulate of the· Iberian Peninsula, which is included as a rare species in the Red Book of the Vertebrates of Spain (Blanco & Gonzales, 1992) During this century its distribution range has experimented significative changes. It became extinct in representative sites, like the mountain range of Sierra de Geres (Portugal) and the French Pyrenees. More recently, it is almost extinct in the Pyrenees (northern Spain). Meanwhile, new populations have established due to both natural dispersion and introductions (e.g. Subbeticas Jienenses, Sierra de Baza·Filabres, among others). Andalusia is the region with the highest number of nuclei, some of them showing high ibex density values. The mean goal of our study was to determine the distribution and status of the Spanish ibex in Andalusia. Our results show the presence of, at least, 34 nuclei in Andalusia. We have estimated an overall population around 30,000 individuals, with a mean density for the whole territory studied of 3 ibex/km^2. Nevertheless, in despite of this relatively high number, several conservation problems are identified. On the basis of the results obtained, we propose the status of '·vulnerable" species for the Spanish ibex in our region.
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During the last century, human activities have promoted large changes in habitats, leading to changes in the abundance and composition of mammal communities. Some species have been favoured intentionally (specially those with high economic importance), or unintentionally (i.e. opportunistic species), introduced las some livestock species), or persecuted (i.e. species that affect livestock or game). In this paper, we show and explain the changes in the composition of the large mammal community in Aragon, a northeastern Spanish area where there have been extinctions (lynx, Lynx sp.); introductions (moufflon, Ovis ammon; fallow deer, Dama dame); reintroductions (red deer, Cervus elaphus); and particularly natural expansions (wild boar, Sus scrofa; roe deer, Capreolus capreolus; red deer; Pyrenean chamois, Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica). Some taxa are currently almost extinct (brown bear, Ursus arctos; Pyrenean ibex, Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica) and others are recovering after getting close to extinction (wolf, Canis lupus). Three interconnected causes may explain the clear increment of ungulates in our study area: (1) the abandonment of rural activities, (2) the subsequent decrease of livestock, and (3) the increase of forest habitats. None of those species are currently below 150 % of their range in the 19(th) century. The setting up of hunting reservations and the design of a hunting legislation have also contributed to the observed changes. Traditionally, large predators have not been favoured by human activities, while compensatory protection measures carried out have been scarce or came too late. While some of these species are probably extinct in the area, the remaining occupy currently less than one fourth of their former range and need urgent conservation measures for to recover.
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This study was conducted between 1986 and 1987 in the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas. The average home range of male ibex was 1.05 km2 (n = 4) in the fall and 4.28 km2 (n = 2) in the spring. For females it averaged between 0.25 km2 (n = 20) in the fall and 0.81 km2 (n = 4) in the spring. Fidelity to the same rut area was observed for all animals during 3 consecutive years. Only females showed fidelity to the area used in the spring.
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A Poccasion d'un echantillonnage general et systematique, on a observe des bouquetins (Capra pyrenaica Schinz, 1838) au cours de leurs activites les plus souvent repetees : prise de nourriture, deplacement et repos, et on a constate leur tendance a realiser plus frequemment ces activites ä differentes heures de la journee suivant la saison. En hiver, les activites qui impliquent des mouvements sont realisees au milieu de la journee, alors qu'en etc, au contraire, le bouquetin de Cazorla se deplace pendant la nuit ainsi qu'au lever et au coucher du soleil. Ces differences peuvent etre liees ä la temperature, puisqu'il existe une relation entre la temperature de Penvironnement et Pactivite generate.
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We studied blood samples from 529 Spanish ibexes (Capra pyrenaica) from different Andalusian mountain ranges in southern Spain, primarily from Sierra Nevada. For each sample, 13 hematologic and 32 biochemical parameters were analyzed. Within this database, we selected values obtained from live, free-ranging, physically restrained, clinically normal animals to deter- mine reference intervals for these parameters. Distribution of values within each parameter was determined and differences in values between sex and age classes also were determined. We found significant differences in eight biochemical parameters among male and female ibexes. Significant differences in values for 20 hematologic and biochemical parameters between age classes also were found.
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In this paper an updated distribution of the Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica, Schinz 1838) in the central Spanish region of Castile–La Mancha is shown. The species is present in 19% of the study region, and in areas not cited so far in the literature. A detailed analysis of habitat suitability was also carried out, applying a␣new methodology, Ecological-Niche Factor Analysis, which uses presence data to␣build a habitat suitability map of a given species. As livestock activity is quite intense in the region, the presence of a potential competitor, the domestic goat (Capra hircus), was included in the analyses. Factors affecting ibex relative abundance were determined by means of a nested stepwise multiple regression, where livestock presence/absence was the nested factor. The presence of livestock has a negative effect on ibex relative abundance, causing the ibex to select areas of poor, sparse vegetation, cultivated lands and forests, whereas in the absence of livestock, the ibex is mainly present in pasture–scrub lands and non-cultivated lands. Conservation implications of these results are discussed in the context of a Mediterranean region where extensive livestock grazing systems abound.
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Climate can have complex effects on demographic rates and the endogenous feedback structure regulating mammal populations, and this can create problems for predictive modelling. In northern and Alpine environments, weather appears to influence ungulate population growth rates mainly during years of high population density, suggesting the possibility of nonlinear interactions between the 2 variables. Threshold models have been employed to account for these nonlinearities. For example, in the case of Alpine ibex Capra ibex in the Gran Paradiso National Park of Italy, stronger density dependence is assumed to occur after snowfall exceeds 1.54 m. In this paper we use more objective nonparametric methods to evaluate the form of the functional relationships governing the dynamics of this ibex population. No evidence was found for a threshold effect in the data. Instead we uncovered a non-additive and nonlinear interaction between climate and population density. The resulting models predict ibex numbers as well or better than previous threshold models despite requiring fewer parameters, and also conform well to traditional ecological concepts. We conclude with several lessons for those who wish to predict the effects of climate change on animal population dynamics.
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After examining 105 stomach contents of Spanish Wild Goat (Capra pyrenaica Schinz, 1838) gathered at the National Reservation of Sierras de Cazorla and Segura (Southwestern Spain) during the period April 1980 - August 1981, 313 vegetal species have been identified: 177 in spring, 202 in summer, 145 in autumn, and 164 in winter. The basic food components during the 4 seasons have been Quercus ilex and Phillyrea latifolia, except in autumn, in which the most eaten species was Juniperus oxycedrus.
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The spatial behaviour of female Alpine ibex Capra ibex ibex L. 1758, was analysed in Gran Paradiso National Park (Italy). Data were collected on 14 radiocollared females from September 2000 to August 2002, using radio-tracking and direct observations. Seasonal spatial behaviour was influenced by environmental conditions, in particular climatic factors. In the presence of thick snow cover, females significantly reduced winter home range sizes. Snow cover limited ibex mobility and reduced localization altitudes. Annual home range and winter home range sizes were inversely related to age. Temperature modified the use of space by females during summer. During the hottest summer females moved over larger ranges at higher altitudes. Annual home range sizes (mean 186.2 ha ± 71.7 in 2000 and 182.2 ha ± 70.0 in 2001) and seasonal home range sizes were significantly smaller than those of reintroduced populations, moreover they were smaller that those of males calculated in a close study area in Gran Paradiso National Park.
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The historical ranges of the European brown hare Lepus europaeus and the Iberian hare L. granatensis meet in Aragón in northeastern Spain. We studied the relative abundances and the population trends of the two species in 60 localities (13 for the brown hare, 38 for the Iberian hare, and nine from the transition zone where both species are present) by spotlighting in winter during 1992-2002. We carried out a total of 1,407 counts covering 41,511 km. Both the Iberian (132.2 ± 33.2 hares/100 km; range: 52-192) and the brown hare (106.7 ± 26.8; range: 53-136) were more abundant in their respective zones than both species combined in the transition zone (90.9 ± 50.5, range: 37-157). The highest Iberian hare abundances were recorded in the northern Iberian Mountains, an area with well-preserved cereal-dominated ecosystems and a less extreme climate than in other parts of the study area. The Iberian hare had significant inter-annual differences both locally and generally, which was mainly due to a peak in 1998, and this species showed a general positive trend during the study period, suggesting that Iberian hare numbers are increasing. Contrary to the marked declines reported from other European regions, the brown hare abundance indices obtained in the Spanish Pyrenees during our study period remained stable.
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As adult body mass is reached fighting force is greater, consequently horn growth in male Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica) must compensate to minimize breakage. This is done by increasing the value of the second moment of the area at the base of horns, which keeps the maximum horn-bending stress low. Transverse horn ridges are apparently involved in helping to control the length of the lever arm, hence the bending moment, thus helping to minimize bending stress and torques about the occiput. In the rear-clash type of fight, the probability of horn breakage is highest, but horn-bending stress is minimized by clashing against the basal sections of horns. I hypothesize that the most frequent, and harmless, types of conventional fighting serve as reliable tests of the fighting ability of an animal. Contenders resist dangerous rear clashes by their body mass and absorb the energy of fighting and prevent skull rotation by contraction of their neck muscles.
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The number of Protostrongylus spp. first-stage larvae in the feces of marked bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) was monitored from 1981 to 1988 in southwestern Alberta. Prevalence of infection was 100%. Counts were not correlated with spring precipitation, winter temperature, or number of female sheep in the study population. Percent lamb survival and average counts were correlated only when years affected by the occurrence of a pneumonia epizootic were excluded. In the years before the epizootic, but not afterwards, lambs born to females with high larval counts were less likely to survive to weaning or to 1 year of age than lambs born to females with low counts. Fecal larval counts from the same female in successive years were weakly correlated, and tended to change towards the mean for all females. Counts were affected by host reproduction but not by seasonal migration, and did not affect host survival. Among lambs and yearlings, males had higher counts than females. Lambs had higher counts than adult females. There were no age-specific differences among adult females. The larval count from female lambs was correlated with that from their mother but not that from male lambs. Heart girth of female lambs was correlated with their larval count and that of their mother. I suggest that larval counts are affected by infection intensity and body condition, do not predict pneumonia epizootics, and have limited reliability as an index of herd health.
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Analysis of the morphology of the cheek teeth of Capra suggests that four fundamental types occur among some Late Pleistocene populations of Southern France. Two of these correspond to populations craniologically close to the caucasica-cylindricornis group and form part of the lineage leading towards pyrenaica: Portel and Bouxes. The other two succeed each other in time and correspond to the lineage towards Capra ibex ibex: Pecheurs and Adaouste. In the C.i.ibex lineage, the third lower premolar and the third upper molar are the teeth that best register the evolutionary tendency of the group, which, in the Wurmian, consists of an increase in the complexity of the lingual structure of the lower cheek teeth and a development of the metastylar "wing' of the upper M3. There is thus evidence of some geographic isolation in Provence in the final Wurmian. -English summary
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During the Upper and Middle Pleistocene, two genera of Caprinae were present in French sites: Hemitragus and Capra. The first one, the tahr, is characteristic of the Middle Pleistocene and comprises two species. The evolution of the genus found expression in a reduction of teeth and post-cranial size. This trend gives information on the adaptive modalities of the genus in Mediterranean palaeoenvironment. The second one, the ibex, comprises two lines. The evolution of the Alpine group involves an enhancement of the dental complexity that seems to correlate with a change of feeding regime. The Pyrenean ibex, specific to the Upper Pleistocene is also discussed. The remains of these animals indicate the relations between Man and the game hunted in Prehistoric time. -from English summary