Animal movement and population ecology

Ecological knowledge is the base for conservation.

We advance this field with several research projects, ranging from ecology of birds in European wetlands to the movement studies of wild rats in urban Helsinki and dryland-inhabiting bats in arid northern Kenya. Recent addition to our research line includes the study of hyenas’ behavioural ecology in Kenya.

Using an array of state-of-the-art methodologies such as camera traps, RFID and GPS trackers, stable isotopes or molecular sequencing, GCC monitors species behaviour, movements and abundance. We also use stakeholder and citizen-generated data to understand animal presence or absence patterns. This fills knowledge gaps on how species distribute in space and the importance of life-history traits, therefore gathering fundamental information to increase our understanding of species response to global environmental change.

Projects and Researchers

  • Bat movement in desert habitats / Irene Conenna
  • Bird ecology in European and African wetlands / Sara Fraixedas, Daniel Burgas and Mar Cabeza
  • Carnivore movement and spatial use / Miquel Torrents Ticó
  • Urban rat movement and population dynamics / Santtu Pentikäinen and Tuomas Aivelo

Key references

  • Rocha, R., Tarmo, V., Cabeza, M. 2015. Bird assemblages in a Malagasy forest-agricultural frontier: effects of habitat structure and landscape-scale forest cover. Tropical Conservation Science 8(3): 681-710.
  • Conenna I, López-Baucells A, Rocha R, Ripperger S, Cabeza M. Movement seasonality in a desert-dwelling bat revealed by miniature GPS loggers. Mov ecol. 2019;7(1):1–10.
  • Monadjem, A., Conenna, I., Taylor, P. J., Schoeman, M. C. 2018. Species richness patterns and functional traits of the bat fauna of arid southern Africa. Hystrix, 29(1). doi: 10.4404/hystrix-00016-2017
  • Fraixedas, S., Burgas, D., Robson, D., Camps, J., Barriocanal, C. 2020. Benefits of the European agri-environment schemes for wintering lapwings: a case study from rice fields in the Mediterranean region. Waterbirds 43(1): 86-93. doi: 10.1675/063.043.0109
  • Fraixedas, S., Lindén, A., Husby, M., Lehikoinen, A. 2020. Declining peatland bird numbers are not consistent with the increasing Common Crane population. Journal of Ornithology 161(3): 691-70. doi: 10.1007/s10336-020-01777-6