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Assessing the diet of breeding bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) in mid-20th century in Spain: a comparison to recent data and implications for conservation

AuthorsMargalida, Antoni ; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.; Eguía, Sergio; Marín-Arroyo, Ana B.; Hernández, Francisco José; Bautista, Jesús
Extensive grazing
Gypaetus barbatus
Historical nest
Wild ungulates
Issue Date2009
CitationEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research 55: 443-447 (2009)
AbstractWe describe the diet of bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) in southern Spain during the period from 1940 to 1950 based on the remains discovered in two historical nests and compare (using the same method) the anatomical and taxonomical bones found with recent data (2000–2001). At both times, the most important prey were medium-sized mammals (old: 73.3%, n = 30 vs recent: 71.2%, n = 73) with Ovis/Capra being the most prevalent (70% and 68.5%, respectively). Concerning the anatomical remains found, in old nests, long bones were the most frequently encountered skeletal part (30%) followed by the vertebral column (23%) and skull (23%); whereas, in recent nests, the most common remains were extremities (49.3%) followed by long bones (19.2%) and skulls (15.1%). These differences probably are due to differences in taphonomic conservation as a consequence of bone density and the removal by other scavenger species. The results suggest similar dietary habits between periods, with domestic species being the most important prey species group (old: 93.3% vs recent: 82.2%). These results emphasise the importance of the management of extensive livestock for the conservation of the bearded vulture.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-009-0269-0
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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