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Title: Apex scavengers from different European populations converge at threatened savannah landscapes
Authors: Delgado-Gonzalez, A.; Cortes-Avizanda, A.; Serrano, D.; Arrondo, E.; Duriez, O.; Margalida, A.; Carrete, M.; Oliva-Vidal, P.; Sourp, E.; Morales-Reyes, Z.; Garcia-Baron, Isabel; de la Riva, M.; Sanchez-Zapata, J. A.; Donazar, J. A.
Abstract: Over millennia, human intervention has transformed European habitats mainly through extensive livestock grazing. ``Dehesas/Montados�� are an Iberian savannah-like ecosystem dominated by oak-trees, bushes and grass species that are subject to agricultural and extensive livestock uses. They are a good example of how large-scale, low intensive transformations can maintain high biodiversity levels as well as socio-economic and cultural values. However, the role that these human-modified habitats can play for individuals or species living beyond their borders is unknown. Here, using a dataset of 106 adult GPS-tagged Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) monitored over seven years, we show how individuals breeding in western European populations from Northern, Central, and Southern Spain, and Southern France made long-range forays (LRFs) of up to 800 km to converge in the threatened Iberian ``dehesas�� to forage. There, extensive livestock and wild ungulates provide large amounts of carcasses, which are available to scavengers from traditional exploitations and rewilding processes. Our results highlight that maintaining Iberian ``dehesas�� is critical not only for local biodiversity but also for long-term conservation and the ecosystem services provided by avian scavengers across the continent.
Issue Date: 2022
Type: Article
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-06436-9
ISSN: 2045-2322
Funder: Community of Bardenas Reales of Navarra, Parc National des Pyrenees Occidentales (France) [26/2017, RNM-1925, P18-RT-1321, RTI2018-099609-B-C21, C22-EU]
Junta de Andalucia [E-41202\_0456599]
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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