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July '24
Cinereous vulture

The cinereous vulture (Aegypus monachus) is distributed through a few places of temperate Eurasia, inhabiting hilly, mountainous areas. It is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN and major threats are direct persecution, habitat degradation and intoxication with veterinary pharmaceuticals, such as diclofenac.

It disappeared from the Pyrenees at the beginning of the 20th century, but in 2007 a reintroduction project was launched in the Pre-Pyrenees of Lleida, and nowadays, this is the only place where the 4 species of vulture in Europe nest: the bearded vulture, the Egyptian vulture, the griffon and the cinereous vulture.

 

During July, we are assessing the health of the 9 cinereous vulture chicks born this year. The Trenca Foundation, the Cos d’Agents Rurals with the Mountain Support Group, the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Government of Aragon, through Sarga, are marking all these chicks, with rings and some of them with GPS devices.

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June '24
PAPALPIR Project

Laura Carrera's project "Study of the distribution of ticks and associated pathogens in mountain ecosystems of the Alt Pirineu Natural Park" has been funded by the 'Salvador Grau i Tort' scholarship call.

She will start field sampling soon!

June '24
MICROBAT Project

Carlotta Passeto project's "The health of Pipistrellus bats: exploring the link between the microbiome and anthropogenic pollution" has been funded by the 'Salvador Grau i Tort' scholarship call.

Carlotta aims to compare the microbiome composition and health status of bats in the well-preserved natural
environments of the Alt Pirineu Natural Park and those Barcelona's urban setting.

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May '24
New WPH diplomates

We are pleased to announce that Maria Puig Ribas and Johan Espunyes, our former residents in Wildlife Population Health, have successfully passed the college exam and are now Diplomates of the European Colege of Zoological Medicine in the specialty WPH.

Congratulations Johan and Maria for this great achievement!! 

February '24
Conservation of Catalonian amphibians Project

Barcelona Zoo Foundation has funded the project “An integrative approach to the conservation of Catalonian amphibians”, an interdisciplinary study to assess the status of amphibians in Catalonia and improve their conservation. The project is led by Dr. Salvador Carranza, from the Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE), a joint Institute of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).

The team consists of 15 researchers from eight Catalan institutions: Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona (MCNB), the Museum of Natural Sciences of Granollers (MCNG), the Biodiversity Research Institute of the University of Barcelona (IRBio-UB), the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), the Centre for Research and Environmental Education of Calafell (CREAC), the Group for the Study and Protection of Catalan Ecosystems (GEPEC-EdC), and WildCoM (UAB).

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January '24
TuroCat Project

The Catalan Government has requested us to evaluate and carry out the health monitoring of the TUROCAT project.

The TUROCAT project aims to recover European polecat populations in Catalonia.

We will establish health and biosecurity protocols in all breeding facilities, conduct clinical examinations and test the main pathogens in the ex situ population and released individuals, investigate the cases of mortality, and keep the risk analysis documents updated.

January '24
European Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare

The European Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare (EUPAHW) is the most ambitious research and innovation initiative the European Commission has funded to control infectious animal diseases, and to promote animal welfare, and is anticipated to invest €360 million over seven years to boost research and facilitate cooperation between all actors. The scope goes beyond the animal health and welfare actors to enhance cross sector collaboration and, through a One Health and One Welfare approach, to provide full societal impact. The ambitious objectives have appealed to 90 partners in Europe.

 

The Partnership initiates in 2024 17 three-year projects, to be conducted by the 56 research partners. Action 2, entitled "Wild mammals and birds", has as its general objective the establishment of European networks based on the surveillance and notification systems for wildlife diseases existing in Europe.

 

WildCoM will lead the evaluation of the impact of human activities (such as the captive breeding of wild species for commercial purposes, hunting repopulations, translocations) in the spread of diseases. In addition, it will participate in improving the integration of mammal and wild bird health in global health surveillance, and in improving the surveillance and monitoring of wildlife pathogens, in order to detect the emergence of important diseases and reduce the risk of transmission between wildlife, domestic animals and humans. Finally, the specific research needs and priorities in the field of wildlife management and health surveillance will be identified among all the participating institutions.

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August '23
Avipoxvirus study

We start the sampling period for our project, "Is avian pox impacting the population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Barcelona?" .

This project, funded by the Barcelona Zoo Foundation, aim at determining the level of infection by avian pox in the sparrow population of Barcelona and investigate the role of avian pox infection in the winter survival of sparrows.

April '23
Northern wheatear

The Catalan Ornithological Institute (ICO), the Department of Animal and Food Science and WildCoM are starting a new project in April at the Montseny Biosphere Reserve and Natural Park!

 

We will evaluate the situation of the subalpine habitat that remains in the culminating parts of the mountains, very threatened by climate change and the disappearance of livestock, while using as an indicator a species of bird closely linked to this habitat, the Northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe).

Thanks to Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona Zoo and Diputacions de Barcelona i Girona for the support! This research is funded by the European Union, through the Spanish Government's Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, with the collaboration of the Generalitat de Catalunya-Next Generation EU.

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March '23
European turtle dove

In collaboration with the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC), we have started investigating the role of diseases in the population dynamics of the declining of European Turtle Doves in several regions in Spain and Marroco. 

We are particularly focused on Trichomonosis, a parasitic disease commonly affecting finches, doves, and pigeons. This disease causes lesions in the throats of infected birds, often making it difficult for them to swallow food and breathe.

November '22
Start of the CRICOMED project 

We are excited to announce that we have been awarded the project "Study of the epidemiology of Crimean-Congo
Haemorrhagic Fever Virus in the North-Eastern Spain Mediterranean ecological region", funded by the Spanish Ministry of science and innovation.

This project marks a significant milestone for our team and paves the way for new and innovative developments. 

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August '22
Malaria in sparrows

We start the sampling period for our project, "Assessing the role of avian malaria in the decline of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Barcelona". 

Working in close collaboration with the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona, we aim to evaluate the impact of avian malaria on the dynamics of a population of common sparrows in the city of Barcelona.

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February '23
M
arking otters with GPS

In collaboration with the Barcelona Zoo and the University of Girona, we have provided veterinary support in the capture, anaesthesia, and marking of Otters with GPS harnesses in the Ter river.

The objective of the study is to analyse the movement of otters in a highly urbanised and human-modified environment.

April '22
POCTEFA project Innotub

Final captures of a three-year sampling of rodents in the Pyrenees. 

The work was part of the Interreg POCTEFA project INNOTUB "Transpyrenea network for research and development of innovative tools for the control of animal tuberculosis".

We specifically aimed at assessing the role of rodents in the circulation of Mycobacterium microti in the transpyreneic region

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June '20
Garden bird diseases observatory 

The Barcelona Zoo Foundation has sponsored the creation of the Garden Bird Diseases Observatory, in which Wildcom participated, in collaboration with the Catalan Institute of Ornithology (ICO), the Animal Health Research Center (IRTA-CReSA), and the Generalitat de Catalunya.

The observatory aims to evaluate diseases affecting garden birds, assess their health status, and implement appropriate mitigation measures when necessary.

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