Animal movement and population ecology

Ecological knowledge is the base for conservation. We advance this field with several projects with a strong component of rat, bat and bird research, ranging from the study of birds in European wetlands and rat movement in urban areas to dryland-inhabiting bats in Kenya. A project recently incorporated in our research line includes the study of hyenas’ behavioural ecology in Kenya. 

Using an array of state-of-the-art methodologies such as camera traps, GPS trackers, stable isotopes or molecular sequencing, GCC monitors species behaviour, movements and abundance. We also use stakeholder or citizen-generated data to understand animal presence or absence patterns. This is essential to fill knowledge gaps on how species distribute in space and the importance of life-history traits, therefore gathering fundamental information to increase our understanding of species response to global environmental change. 

Projects and Researchers

  • Bat movement in desert habitats / Irene Conenna
  • Bird ecology in European and African wetlands / Sara Fraixedas, Daniel Burgas and Mar Cabeza
  • Carnivore movement and spatial use / Miquel Torrents Ticó
  • Urban rat movement and population dynamics / Santtu Pentikäinen and Tuomas Aivelo

Key references 

  • Rocha, R., Tarmo, V., Cabeza, M. 2015. Bird assemblages in a Malagasy forest-agricultural frontier: effects of habitat structure and landscape-scale forest cover. Tropical Conservation Science 8(3): 681-710. 
  • Conenna I, López-Baucells A, Rocha R, Ripperger S, Cabeza M. Movement seasonality in a desert-dwelling bat revealed by miniature GPS loggers. Mov ecol. 2019;7(1):1–10. 
  • Monadjem, A., Conenna, I., Taylor, P. J., Schoeman, M. C. 2018. Species richness patterns and functional traits of the bat fauna of arid southern Africa. Hystrix, 29(1). doi: 10.4404/hystrix-00016-2017 
  • Fraixedas, S., Burgas, D., Robson, D., Camps, J., Barriocanal, C. 2020. Benefits of the European agri-environment schemes for wintering lapwings: a case study from rice fields in the Mediterranean region. Waterbirds 43(1): 86-93. doi: 10.1675/063.043.0109
  • Fraixedas, S., Lindén, A., Husby, M., Lehikoinen, A. 2020. Declining peatland bird numbers are not consistent with the increasing Common Crane population. Journal of Ornithology 161(3): 691-70. doi: 10.1007/s10336-020-01777-6