Species & Populations

This monitoring program provides data on the abundance, distribution and conservation status of a representative sample of the numerous species inhabiting Doñana. These include:

1. Birds:

1.1. Waterbirds: Waterbird monitoring data include four types of surveys:

1.1.1. Aerial censuses: Aerial censuses have been carried out at monthly intervals since the 1970s, and include regular observations of 49 waterbird species and occasional observation of many others. Request raw data

1.1.2. Ground censuses: Ground surveys take place five times a year since the 1980s. In january, the survey forms part of the International Waterbird Census. Data include abundances of common waterbird and other non-passerine species present in the Doñana wetlands. For threatened and/or protected species, all reproductive pairs detected in the surveys are subsequently monitored fortnightly to estimate their reproductive success. See an example of summary data below. Request raw data.as, from 2004 to 2015.

Evolution of the abundance of wintering waterbirds in Doñana, as estimated in the January survey (IWC). Left: total number of individuals. Right: abundance of the 13 most common species. X-axis from left to right: shoveler, greater flamingo, pintail, greylag goose, black-tailed godwit, mallard, Eurasian coot, dunlin, widgeon, avocet, European teal, red-crested pochard, lapwing, unidentified ducks, other species.

Number of breeding pairs of white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) in the Doñana Protected Areas, from 2004 to 2015.

1.1.3. Colonial breeders: The RBD heronry (Pajarera de Fuente del Duque) is monitored monthly, from february to august, to estimate the number of breedind pairs, as well as their productivity (number of eggs, chicks and fledged chicks per nest). See summary data below. Request raw data.

Number of breeding pairs of grey heron (Ardea cinerea) and Eurasian (Platalea leucorodia) at the RBD heronry, from 1996 to 2015. Straight lines indicate linear fits across the whole period.

1.1.4. Non-colonial breeders: Monthly horseback surveys across the Doñana marsh provide data on the abundance of nests, number of eggs or chicks per nest, and frequency of nest predation for several waterbird species – such as the common coot and purple swamphen. Request raw data.

1.2. Beach and litoral birds: Since 1990, monthly ‘beach censuses’ provide standardized estimates of the population trends of Charadriiformes (waders, gulls and auks) and other seabirds. See an example of summary data below. Request raw data.

Number of individuals of Audouin gull (Larus adouinii) censused at the Doñana beach from 1990 to 2015. (Only the monthly survey with the highest value per year, corresponding to the summer period, is shown.)

1.3. Raptors: Raptor monitoring data include two types of surveys:

1.3.1. Colonial raptors: The roosting sites of red kite, western marsh harrier and Egyptian vulture are surveyed once a year, coinciding the International Waterbird Census. Request raw data.

1.3.2. Breeding raptors:  Surveys of breeding raptors provide data on their abundance (number of reproductive pairs) and reproductive success (number of eggs, chicks and/or number of fledged chicks per nest) – particularly for endangered (red kite, hen harrier) or locally rare species (peregrine falcon, black-winged kite, short-toed snake eagle, western marsh harrier, northern goshawk and Eurasian hobby). Request raw data.

1.4. Perching birds (passerines):

1.4.1. Breeding passerines: Since 2012, surveys of breeding passerines are integrated on to the national program SACRE, which uses distance-sampling at point stations to provide data on abundance and density per species. Request raw data.

1.4.2. Wintering passerines: These surveys are integrated in the national program of bird censuses SACIN and take place twice a year (november-december and january-february). They provide data on abundance per species. Request raw data.

1.4.3. Ringing of postnuptial migrants with constant effort: Every autumn, this monitoring campaign runs for 11 weeks and provide data on abundance per unit effort for migrating passerine species – as well as information on their migratory patterns when they are recaptured. From 1994 to date, more than 65,000 birds belonging to 106 different species have been captured (3,700 birds per campaign, on average). See summary data from the six most common species (European robin, blackcap, common chiffchaff, pied flycatcher, garden warbler and willow warbler) below. Request raw data.

Changes in the number of individuals of the six most common migratory species captured at the standardized capture-effort station of Manecorro (Doñana), from 1994 to 2014. Data from 2013 and 2014 are not comparable, owing to a decrease in the capture effort.

1.5. Red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa): Monitoring surveys provide data on the relative abundance and density of red-legged partridge, from distance sampling transects surveyed three times a year. See summary data below. Request raw data.

Spatial and temporal variation in the abundance (IKA: number of individuals observed per kilometer) of red-legged partridge in Doñana, from 2012 to 2015. Categories in the horizontal axes represent eight different transects across the National and Natural Park.

2. Mammals: Monitoring surveys focuses on a number of species considered of key importance for its ecosystems, such as:

2.1. Herbivores (ungulates, rabbit and hare): The monitoring program provides data on: (i) Total abundance of red deer and falow deer, from direct counts made during the mating season (rutting). (ii) Relative abundance and density of wild boar, red deer, fallow deer, rabbit and hare, from distance sampling transects surveyed three times a year. See summary data below. Request raw data.

Relative abundance (IKA: number of individuals observed per kilometer) of red deer (upper panels), wild boar (medium panels) and rabbit (lower panels) in Doñana. Left panels: changes in abundance (avg±sd) from 2005 to 2015 (2012-15 for wild boar). Values for rabbit are based on seven transect, excluding Matas Gordas. Right panels: spatial variation in abundance, across the eight different transects.

2.2. Carnivores: Monitoring of carnivores is based on track surveys along 12 different transects distributed across the National Park. Four species appear regularly in the surveys: red fox, Egyptian mongoose, European badger and Iberian linx. Request raw data.

2.3. Water vole (Arvicola sapidus): Data from annual surveys of 48 localities are available from 2004 to 2014, when the program frequency was reduced to once every 5 years. Request raw data.

3. Reptiles: Raptor monitoring data include three types of surveys:

3.1. Lizards and geckos: Yearly surveys of seven transects, located in four different habitats (dunes, shrubland, open pine forest and gallery forest) are available since 2007. See summary data below. Request raw data.

Relative abundance (IKA: number of individuals observed per kilometer; average across seven localities) of five species of lizard and one species of gecko the Doñana Protected Areas. Red bars: abundance in 2014-15. Blue bars: mean abundance during 2007-2014. “No identificado”: unidentified lizards.

3.2. Greek tortoises: Monitoring data include estimates of Greek tortoise abundance every second year, based on track surveys made twice a year. See summary data below. Request raw data.

Blue bars: changes in relative abundance (IKA: number of individuals observed per kilometer; average across 10 localities) of Greek tortoises. Red line: anual precipitation, as registered at ICTS-RBD’s meteorological station.

3.3. Pond turtles: The distribution and local abundance of pond turtles (Mediterraean turtle Mauremys leprosa and European turtle Emys orbicularis) has been surveyed at 23 localities, every second year since 2008. Request raw data.

4. Invertebrates: The monitoring program includes three groups of invertebrates:

4.1. Butterflies: Since 2014, Doñana’s ICTS-RBD contributes with 8 transects to the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme and hosts its data repository. Six of these transects were monitored since 2007 with the same methodology, thus providing longer data series. See summary data below. Request raw data.

Left: Spatial and temporal changes in butterfly abundance (total number of individuals counted per transect, during the 10 visits made each year) in Doñana. Right: Seasonal changes in butterfly abundance (number of individuals per transect and visit).Data shown per biweekly period (“quincenas”).

4.2. Ants: The ant monitoring program measures the spread on Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) populations and its effect on native ants. It includes yearly surveys of:

4.2.2. The buildings of the Doñana Biological Reserve, including the one where the first invasive population was recorded and all neighboring buildings. Request raw data.

4.2.3. The oak trees of the heronry and grassland ecotone (“vera”). See summary data below. Request raw data.

Abundance of invasive (Argentine ant, Linepithema humile) and native ants (Crematogaster scutellaris) in the oak-trees of Doñana’s heronry and grassland ecotone. Left: Percentage (left axis) and number (right axis) of trees occupied by each species. Blue line: number of trees surveyed. “Otras” = other native species. “Sin hormigas”: no ants. Right: Spatial distribution of trees occupied by invasive (Argentine ants: red dots) vs. native (Crematogaster scutellaris: green dots). Yellow dots: no ants.

4.3. Dung beetles: Dung beetle monitoring estimated the abundance of two largest species, Scarabeus sacer and S. cicatricosus, once a year. Data are available from 1994 to 2012, when the surveys were discontinued. See summary below. Request raw data.

Spatial and temporal variation in dung beetle abundance (number of individuals per trap) surveyed in Doñana from 2004 to 2012. Different panels represent different localities, with horizontal axes showing the different years.

5. Flora: Together with Doñana’s National Park conservation office and Dunas del Odiel’s Botanic Garden, the ICTS-RBD team monitors since 2005 the distribution and population dynamics of threatened plant species present in the Doñana Protected Areas. The information is incorporated to the FAME database and geovisualizer. Request raw data.