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The first semester concludes with six voluntary field trips: from the capture of golden eagles to the observation of the Iberian lynx

  • February 2nd, 2022
Eixida de camp

As usual, during the period from October to January, various voluntary field trips have been organised by the teaching staff of our Master's Degree in which the students have had the opportunity to complement the contents worked on in the official curriculum.

On the one hand, there have been some outings associated with each itinerary:

On 28th October, students of the Ecosystem Conservation Specialisation were able to collaborate in a research project on large birds of prey in the valley of Ayora. During the day a pair of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) was captured and fitted with satellite transmitters to track their movements.

On 6 and 27th November, students of the Animal Conservation Speciality visited, respectively, the natural park of Hoces del Cabriel and the quarry and marsh of Almenara. The aim was to practice bird identification skills, as well as to discuss their survival strategies during the winter. In both outings they were able to observe a good number of cliff-nesting birds, including the blue rock-thrush (Monticola solitarius), the black wheatear (Oenanthe leucura), the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) and the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), as well as Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica).

In addition, three outings were carried out for both specialities:

On 11st December, the Gallocanta lagoon was visited. In addition to discussing different aspects of the wintering of the common crane (Grus grus), they had the opportunity to observe some steppe birds such as the calandra lark (Melanocorypha calandra) and the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus), as well as a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and several European roe deers (Capreolus capreolus).

On 8th January, the students took part in the Census of Wintering Seabirds along the Coast of the Valencian Community, choosing the beach of Marjal dels Moros as the counting point. The morning was fruitful, as 890 individuals of 13 species were counted. It should be noted the large number of Balearic shearwaters (Puffinus mauretanicus) and great cormorans (Phalacrocorax carbo), with 561 and 261 individuals, respectively, as well as the sighting of an osprey (Pandion haliaetus).

Finally, on the weekend of 15 and 16th January, a short visit was made to the Sierra de Andújar (Jaén) to spot the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) during the rutting season; it was a good opportunity to discuss the issues of this species and the conservation strategies that have been implemented over the last decade. Among others, one individual was observed at close range. In addition, up to 6 otters (Lutra lutra) were detected in the river Jándula and greater mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis), as well as a pair of Spanish imperial eagles (Aquila adalberti) at the beginning of courtship displays, and several cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus).