The LIFE Ricotí Project keep marking Dupont’s lark throughout Spain

Bird ringing activities in the LIFE Ricotí project do not stop. Since the beginning of the spring season of 2018, the LIFE Ricotí project has carried out censuses and marking activities of Dupont’s lark (Chersophilus duponti) in diverse Iberian populations, aiming to assess the trophic ecology and genetic structure of the species at national scale. Specifically, during the second half of March, twelve birds were trapped and ringed in each one of the Segovian populations of the Natural Park “Hoces del Río Duratón” and the National Park “Hoces del Riaza”, as well as eleven individuals in the Riodeva population (Teruel). During the first half of April, census and ringing activities were based on the area of Sierra del Picarcho and Yecla populations, both located in Murcia, where six birds were trapped. Likewise, more than ten birds were ringed in the Sorian populations of Mezquetillas and Retortillo de Soria, and more than a dozen in the population of Belchite, located in Zaragoza.

Diet and genetic samples were the main reason of these ringing activities. However, other morphological data and parasitological samples (i.e. mites, ticks, lice, etc) were also obtained. This data will allow us to determine the physical condition of the species at monitored sites. All captures and ringing sessions were performed by a specialized trained team, with all the respective licenses. In some localities, such as in Segovia and Murcia, we were accompanied by environmental agents who helped us with handling activities. All birds were released at the same location where they were captured. In the following months, Dupont’s larks will be captured in a large number of populations throughout Spain such as those located in Zamora, Cuenca, Huesca, Almería, etc. All this will allow us to determine the genetic population structure and viability of this species at both, fine and wide scale.

 Daniel Bustillo y equipo TEG Ricotí-UAM