Wild ungulates spreading in Aragon
A recent study carried out by researchers based in Zaragoza shows an increase of wild ungulates across Aragon in Spain.
To update the information on the distributions of wild ungulates in Aragon, Spain, populations were surveyed based on questionnaires sent to rangers of the Government of Aragon. The data were analyzed in two five-year periods: 2001-2005 and 2006-2010. The research was based on the 242 and 278 questionnaires, corresponding approximately with 80-90% answers that were analyzed in 2006 and 2011, respectively. The survey documented the presence/absence of up to eight wild ungulate species.
Overall, the distribution of ungulates increased 21% between the two periods. Feral goat populations expanded the most (111%), although Iberian wild goat (61%), roe deer (50%), and red deer (4%) also expanded. The range of wild boar populations remained stable, but the ranges of chamois and fallow deer populations were reduced 6%.
The researchers recommend that ungulate populations in Aragon be surveyed at least every five years. “In order to comfortably talk about wildlife comeback in Europe, a regular monitoring is needed on keystone species covering at least 25 years. This is why our Society argues to adopt a Wilderness Integrated Monitoring system across the Natura 2000 network” adds Zoltan Kun, chairman of the European Wilderness Society.