Long-term monitoring of natural populations

 

Audouin’s gull

 

The Audouin’s gull Larus audouinii is a long-lived colonial seabird with more than 90% of the global population actually breeding in the western Mediterranean.

The species was classified as Endangered during the 1970s, then Vulnerable and now is classified as Least concern (BirdLife International, 2015) due to the exponential growth of the largest colony (Ebro Delta) over the last three decades. However, this large population is now in strong regression, calling into question the conservation status of the species.

It is a coastal species that may perform larger foraging trips than other gull species. The species’ diet consists mostly of epipelagic fish, but it also extensively exploits fishery discard. The speciesalso  suffers from fisheries bycatch mortality.

An extensive long-term monitoring program has been carried out with the Audouin’s gull since 1988, with more than 59 ooo ringed birds.

Cory’s shearwater

 

Scopoli’s shearwater Calonectris diomedea diomedea is a long-lived Procellariiform that breeds at colonies on the Mediterranean islands.

This Mediterranean seabird carries out long-distance migrations to Sub-tropical and South Atlantic waters, with most individuals arriving in the Mediterranean by early March and breeding from May to October.

The species lays one egg and is characterized by biparental care during incubation and chick-feeding.

The species feeds mostly on fish, squid, and crustaceans, but also exploits fishing discards and experiences high mortality in longlines.

We have been monitoring two Mediterranean colonies at the Balearic archipelago since 1999 and 2000, respectively.

 

High-tracking experiments

Our group have recently developed two high-performance tracking platforms to generate high dimensional (big) behavioural data (BBD).

 

 

The CEAB have laboratory experimentation infrastructures (Experimental Laboratory for Living Organisms, LEOV) and computational infrastructures (a high-performance computational cluster at CBLAB, Computational Biology Laboratory), and by the integration of the HP-trackers to the HP-Cluster at CBLAB we built a unique large-scale, and environmentally controlled high-throughput tracking infrastructure in Europe to measure behaviour and generate frontier ecology and phenotype screening on model organisms.