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Oversea migration of white storks through the water barriers of the straits of Gibraltar

Soaring landbirds typically exploit atmospheric uplift as they fly overland, displaying a highly effective energy-saving locomotion. However, large water bodies lack thermal updrafts, potentially becoming ecological barriers that hamper migration. The effects of a sea surface on the migratory performance of GPS-tagged white storks (Ciconia ciconia) were assessed before, during and after they crossed the straits of Gibraltar. Oversea movements involved only flapping and gliding and were faster, traversed in straighter, descending trajectories and resulted in higher movement-related energy expenditure levels than overland, supporting the water barrier hypothesis. Overland movements at both sides of the sea straits resulted in tortuous routes and ascending trajectories with pre-crossing flights showing higher elevations and more tortuous routes than post-crossing, thus supporting the barrier negotiation hypothesis. Individual positions at both ends of the sea narrow were predicted by zonal winds and storks´ location at entry in the European hinterland, and birds did not show compensational movements overland in anticipation to subsequent wind displacements oversea. The length of the water narrow at departure shore, the elevation therein and the winds on route affected major components of sea crossing performance (such as distances and times overwater, minimum elevations, climb angles, speeds and energy expenditure), supporting the departure position and oversea winds hypotheses. In summary, this study provides a prime example at high temporal resolution of how birds adjust their behavior and physiology as they interact with the changing conditions of the travelling medium, reallocating resources and modifying their movement to overcome an ecological barrier. informacion[at] Blas et al (2020) Overland and oversea migration of white storks through the water barriers of the straits of Gibraltar. Scientific Reports 10: 20760. DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-77273-x. See Spanish press release
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Interactions between domestic and wild ungulates

Interactions between domestic and wild ungulates

Controlling infections shared by wildlife and livestock requires the understanding and quantification of interspecific interactions between the species involved. This is particularly important in extensive multi-host systems, in which controlled domestic animals interact with uncontrolled, abundant and expanding wild species, such as wild ungulates. The interspecific interactions between wild boar and freeranging cattle were quantified in Mediterranean Spain, along with their spatio-temporal variability. GPSGSM- collars were used to monitor 12 cows and 14 wild boars in the Doñana National Park between 2011 and 2013. Interactions were defined as encounters between cattle and wild boar within a spatio-temporal window of 52 m and 1 hour. On average, each wild boar interacted with one cow 1.5 ± (SE) 0.5 times per day, while each cow interacted with one wild boar 1.3 ± 0.4 times per day. The frequency of interaction was significantly higher during crepuscular hours owing to the overlap of both species' activity, and also during spring and autumn, probably owing to a higher individual aggregation around shared resources. Finally, the frequency of interaction was higher near the most significant shared resources (e.g. water points) but was lower in areas with dense vegetation. The results presented here show the usefulness of GPS monitoring as regards quantifying interactions and helping to clarify the process of pathogen transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface in Mediterranean Spain, along with the main spatio-temporal risk factors. In a changing scenario in which European populations of wild ungulates are increasing, more efficient measures with which to control interactions are required to meet the demands of farmers and managers. These results, therefore, provide directional hypotheses that could be used to design disease control programmes. informacion[at] Triguero-Ocaña et al (2019) Spatio-temporal trends in the frequency of interspecific interactions between domestic and wild ungulates from Mediterranean Spain. PLoS ONE