The aim is to monitor the population parameters of the Spanish ibex. In Sierra Nevada the population of this species reaches densities of some 9 individuals/km2, although in certain areas and specific periods the optimal density is estimated at some 4 to 5 individuals/km2. This triggers adverse effects on endemic plants and ecosystems of Sierra Nevada that should be appropriately managed. Therefore, the aim of this monitoring is to assess the population trends of the Spanish ibex in Sierra Nevada and to implement management measures intended to conserve the species and maintain its populations within sustainable ranges.
Method and effort
For the objectives set, the following methodologies have been put into practice:
- Annual population estimates, both in Sierra Nevada as well as in peripheral mountain systems.
- Matching the population to theoretic parameters (sex ratio, populational pyramid, reproductive index, reproductive potential, etc.).
- Capture of live specimens, both by physical methods (capture devices) as well as chemical (anaesthesia) and the taking of biometric and biological samples.
- Hunting of animals, from which a series of biometric and biological data are taken.
- Studies of the state of health of the population: studies of parasites and other infectious/ contagious diseases as well as the genetic characterization of the hosts.
- Investigación sobre la biología de reproducción y la fisiología.
The population estimates are made annually during the month of October. The rest of the works are executed daily.
Granados, J.E., Pérez, J.M., Márquez, F.J., Serrano, E., Soriguer, R.C. y Fandos, P. 2001. La cabra montés (Capra pyrenaica, Schinz 1838). Galemys, 13(1): 3-37.
Perez, J.M., Granados, J.E., Soriguer, R.C., Fandos, P., Márquez, F.J. y Crampe, J.P. 2002. Distribution, status and conservation problems of the Spanish ibex, Capra pyrenaica (Mammalia: Artiodactyla). Mam. Rev., 32(1): 26-39. Pérez, J.M. (coord.). 2002. Distribución, genética y estatus sanitario de las poblaciones andaluzas de cabra montés. Servicio de Publicaciones, Universidad de Jaén, Jaén, 267 pp.