The BAC lab in the 20th Congress of Spanish Ornithology

The Biodiversity and Animal Conservation lab with the Biodiversity and Landscape Ecology lab participated in the 20th Congress of Spanish Ornithology in Tremp. The Congress was organized by SEO/BirdLife and the town council of Tremp.

Since 4th to 8th of December more than 300 ornithologist and bird’s watchers shared their experiences and views about the world of birds in Tremp. “Mountain birds” was the main subject in this edition, although other interesting questions related to birds were also discussed.

The two groups from the Biodiversity department at the CTFC participated with six oral communications and two posters (see the descriptions below). The poster named “Application of the Airplane modelling for the study of birds” won the prize of the best poster of the Congress.

In addition, two members of the department took part in two different round table discussion, Miguel Clavero discussed “Mountain birds and climatic change” and Gerard Bota took part in the round table discussion entitled “Birds and Agriculture: the irrigated land conflict”.

Oral Communications

Population’s density, habitat selection and territorial size for specie with a dramatic decline, Calandrella brachydactyla, in two different habitats: open-scrub land and set-aside
Bosch, R. Giralt, D. & Bota, G. Oral communication
Calandrella brachydactyla has suffered a dramatic decline of its population during the last twenty years. In Catalonia its population decline has been superior of 90%. The principal reasons of this reduction are the agricultural intensification (changes to irrigated land, loss of set-aside…) and a loss of habitat quality.

The study evaluates the influence of the quality of two different habitats (open-scrub land and set-aside) on the Calandrella brachydactyla’s population during the 2009 and 2010 summer periods. The data was obtained through census beats to determinate the density of individuals, transects to determinate the characteristics of vegetation, radio-tracking to determinate vital domains.

The results indicate that the most stable habitat offers more resources to the specie, although it can be other factors which affect the specie’s reproduction.


Actions for the improvement of the populations of Western Capercaillie on Catalan Pyrenees. Experimental design, following and first results.
Camprodon,J., García, D., Guixé, D. & Omedes,P. Oral communication
This communication explains the actions made in Catalan and French Pyrenees for the improvement of the population of Tetrao urogallus.

This communication explains the actions made in Catalan and French Pyrenees for the improvement of the population of Tetrao urogallus.

The actions were focused to improve the shrub cover (bilberry and other species which produces fruits), for the purpose to welcome females during the breeding season in areas with low quality habitat which are important for the specie.

The following is centred in basic biologic variables: habitat structure and habitat use for Tetrao urogallus and mammals. To collect this information the authors use transects of traces and photographic traps.

One year before the development of the actions, the Western Capercaillie has beginning to use the improved areas.


Fire and altitude: exploring population patterns on a long term
Pons, P., Clavero, M., Rost, M. & Prodon, R. Oral communication
This study explores the hypothesis which said that the recuperation from fire is slower for mountain birds than for birds from low land.The authors compare two recent studies (Jacquet & Prodon, 2009 and Pons & Clavero, 2010) which analyse the long-term response to the fire for two bird communities, a low land community (<600m) and a high altitude community (1400-2100m). Seven species of non-forest birds were selected; all them appeared in both studies and present a temporal unimodal response for a period of 50 years since the perturbation occurs.

Six of these species had a slower response in the mountain areas than in lowland. These temporary differences could be product of the slow recovering of vegetation on high mountain, although the reason could depend of the ecosystem’s type or livestock pressure (higher in the mountain).


From Common Chaffinch to Corn Bunting: how the bird community changes in Mediterranean pine affected by fire and post-fire felling
Rost, J., Clavero, M., Brotons, L. & Pons, P. Oral communication
This study analyses the response of breeding birds to the felling in two fired forests of Pinus sylvestris in the north of Catalonia.The authors make census with transects during three years before the fire occurs. They analyse the responses in two levels: species (occurrence) and communities (richness, density and conservation index).

Forest density, strongly related with felling, was the most determining factor in the occurrence of half of common species. It benefits opened areas birds and prejudices forest birds.

Richness, density and conservation index were not affected for felling because there was a species replacement. However, there were variations between years probably it results of philopatry and colonisation processes.


The common birds monitoring a tool for the evaluation of the climatic change
Anton, M., Herrando, S., Villero, D. & Brotons, L. Oral communication
In 2007 A Climatic Atlas of European Breeding Birds was published. This generated predicting models about a future distribution of breeding species in Europe consequence of the climatic change. It’s been produced indicators mixing these models with data obtained by bird’s monitoring programs in the European Union.Since 2009 ICO is applying these indicators in the monitoring programs of common birds in Catalonia. The objectives are to validate if the European hypothesis is correct in a smaller scale and to focus the problem in a Mediterranean region. The first results show a clear coincidence between Catalan and European results.

In the communication, also it was presented a new system for the information diffusion through new technologies. The system showed results about the indicators, distribution models and some examples of specific species.



Application of the Airplane modelling for the study of birds
Sardà-Palomera, F., Bota, G., Viñolo, C., Pallarès, O., Sardà, F., Sazatornil, V. & Gomàriz, S.
This poster presents a new not-invasive method for bird’s studies.The authors describe the application of aerial photography for the study of a Chroicocephalus ridibundus’s colony placed in a little island of the “Estany d’Ivars” in Lleida.

Click the poster if you want to see it bigger.


Density and population’s tendency of Burhinus oedicnemus in the steppe-lands of Lleida
Ballesteros, T., Mañosa, S. & Bota,G.
The purposes of the study are to evaluate if the populations of B. oedicnemus in Lleida are declining and to analyze factors which determine the spatial variations of abundance in different scales.The study analyzes the abundance’s    variations of Burhinus oedicnemus. It compares different sectors of the steppe-lands in Lleida and different years.

Click the poster if you want to see it bigger.

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