Range Contraction and Population Decline of the European Dupont’s Lark Population

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Title: Range Contraction and Population Decline of the European Dupont’s Lark Population
Authors: Reverter, Margarita | Pérez-Granados, Cristian | López Iborra, Germán M. | García-Mellado, Amparo | Aledo-Olivares, Emilio | Alcántara, Manuel | Aranda, Antonio | Barrero, Adrián | Bota, Gerard | Bustillo-de la Rosa, Daniel | Cubero, David | Giralt, David | Gómez-Catasús, Julia | Heras, Matías de las | Fernández Palacios, José María | Garrido, José R. | Paracuellos Rodríguez, Mariano | Rubio, Miguel A. | Ruiz, Gema | Sáez-Gómez, Pedro | Salvador, Víctor | Sampietro, Javier | Santos-Torres, Ana | Serrano, David | Zurdo, Julia | Traba, Juan
Research Group/s: Ecología y Conservación de Poblaciones y Comunidades Animales (ECPCA)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ecología
Keywords: Endangered lark | Range contraction | Steppe birds
Issue Date: 14-Aug-2023
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Reverter M, Pérez-Granados C, López-Iborra GM, García-Mellado A, Aledo-Olivares E, Alcántara M, Aranda A, Barrero A, Bota G, Bustillo-de la Rosa D, et al. Range Contraction and Population Decline of the European Dupont’s Lark Population. Diversity. 2023; 15(8):928. https://doi.org/10.3390/d15080928
Abstract: The Dupont’s lark (Chersophilus duponti) is an endangered passerine typical of Mediterranean shrub-steppes, whose European distribution is restricted to Spain. Here, we update the population size and distribution range of the species at a European scale and evaluate (i) the current status; (ii) the change in population size and distribution range of the species from 2004 to 2009 to the current period (2017–2022); and (iii) the effectiveness of the current network of special protection areas (SPAs) for protecting the Dupont’s lark. The European Dupont’s lark population showed a decrease of 29.9%, declining from ca. 3267 to 2289 territorial males from 2004 to 2009 to the current period. Moreover, the species has suffered a contraction in its distribution range of 35.9%, with only 39.3% of the species’ territories located within the current network of SPAs. Our findings agree with the previously described decline of the Dupont’s lark in Europe. The population decline was even larger in peripheral regions, which suggests that the species is suffering a centripetal process of contraction and extinction. These results indicate that if there is no change in present-day declining forces, several peripheral populations will reach extinction in a few decades and the overall population size of the species will continue decreasing. Our study should be considered as a last call for action and used for implementing urgent conservation measures to protect the species and its habitat. Future studies should focus on analyzing and managing the factors driving the species’ extinction and future actions for the conservation of the species should focus on increasing the percentage of the Dupont’s lark territories within protected areas, since the data are alarmingly low for a species that is facing clear risk of extinction.
Sponsor: This study was partially funded by the LIFE programme (LIFE Ricotí LIFE15-NAT-ES-000802 and LIFE Connect Ricotí LIFE20-NAT-ES-000133), by the European Commission, Levantina y Asociado de Minerales, S.A., with the project “Estudios de investigación aplicado a la conservación de las poblaciones de alondra ricotí (Chersophilus duponti) en el entorno del municipio de Vallanca”, by the Dirección General de Política Forestal y Espacios Naturales de la Junta de Comunidades de Castilla La Mancha with the project “SSCC/046/2017 Censo de Alondra ricotí en la provincia de Guadalajara. Año 2017” and by the Junta de Castilla y León with the project “Estudio para la Mejora del Conocimiento de las Poblaciones de Alondra Ricotí Chersophilus duponti en Castilla y León”. Censuses in Catalonia were carried out with the support of the Generalitat of Catalonia. CPG acknowledges the support from the Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional through the Beatriz Galindo Fellowship (Beatriz Galindo—Convocatoria 2020). JGC is funded by a Margarita Salas postdoctoral fellowship (CA4/RSUE/2022-00205) provided by the Spanish Ministry of Universities and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/136826
ISSN: 1424-2818
DOI: 10.3390/d15080928
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/d15080928
Appears in Collections:INV - ECPCA - Artículos de Revistas

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