How to do research in Doñana

Scientific research constitutes one of the main priorities of the Doñana Protected Areas and it was acknowledged as such since its declaration as National Park (Law 91/1978 of 28/12/1978). According to such law, research taking place at the Doñana Protected Areas is coordinated by the Doñana Biological Station.

If you are planning to carry out research at Doñana, you must take into account that your project must be approved by the National Park authorities. Once such approval is granted, you may request support from ICTS-RBD, which will be allocated on competitive basis (i.e. subjected to scientific evaluation).

ICTS-RBD provides support during the complete procedure, from requesting access to the Doñana Protected Areas (see below) to applying for housing, logistic support and expertise during the field work, accessing biodiversity monitoring data and/or using other IT services.

If you need assistance while designing your project or planning your field work, please do not hesitate in contacting us at coordinacion@ebd.csic.es. You can also get an impression of the research projects currently taking place at Doñana in our “Current projects” section.


How to request access to Doñana Protected Areas

Permission to undertake scientific research projects at the Doñana Protected Areas (including its Biological Reserve) is granted on competitive basis, based on their scientific relevance, applicability to the Protected Areas conservation and management, need to work at Doñana Protected Areas, and potential impact on Doñana’s wildlife and ecosystems.

To submit an application, you should download and fill this form (in Spanish) and submit it to: coordinacion@ebd.csic.es. The form must be accompanied by a full description of the research project, including its source of funding, and the CVs of the researchers participating in it.

Request can be submitted at any time. Note however that they must be approved by the Doñana’s Research Evaluation Workgroup (“Comisión de Trabajo de Investigación del END”), which meets four times a year.

Once the research project is approved, the Research Coordination Office will provide work permits on a yearly basis. Such permits provide details on working sites and sampling activities (number and types of samples allowed) and should be carried out by the researchers during all their field activities. For the yearly renewal of such permit, a small summary of the research activities undertaken will be requested.

A more complete report of the results and publications achieved will also be requested by the end of the project.

Should the research approved require the sampling or manipulation of protected species, a separate permit must be requested to the respective authorities (most commonly, the Andalusian Environmental Office: Dirección General de Gestión del Medio Natural y Espacios Protegidos of the Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio).

Remember that you can request for housing, logistic support and expertise from ICTS-RBD for planning your fieldwork.


How to request access to Doñana Biological Reserves

Once you have been granted the general permit to enter the Protected Areas of Doñana you can communicate the dates of work in the Doñana Biological Reserve, as well as request housing through this online form (in Spanish).


First field visit

For each project with access approved to the Doñana Protected Areas, a mandatory meeting with one conservation officer must take place on the first day of field work. During this meeting, the officer will instruct you on the rules and regulations necessary for field work on the area, the placement of areas with restricted access, and any other instructions or constrains arising from the conservation need of the area.

The meeting will also focus on the specificities of your field work, including:

  • The safety procedures at place, including the procedures followed to communicate your location and request assistance in case of emergency.
  • The field sites and sampling areas, including the means and routes of access to them.
  • The installation of any marks and/or artifacts (fences, meters/loggers, etc.), including instructions for their registration, labelling, maintenance and removal at the end of the project.
  • The request of any information that might be of use for the specific planning of your fieldwork, such as the location of certain species or population, the access to certain resources (water, electricity, data connectivity), etc.