Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC)
Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC) is the only research institution in Spain which focuses on the study of hunting as a human activity affecting biodiversity and on the biology of game species. IREC is a joint centre between the Spanish Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM), and the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha (JCCLM). The main aim of IREC is to provide critical scientific information to increase the compatibility of hunting with biodiversity conservation, other land uses, and the maintenance of human and animal welfare. It is a centre with strong multidisciplinary focus, developing research programs on varied fields such as ecology, biology, veterinary sciences, genetics, toxicology, and animal production. All the IREC participants in this proposal are members of the Wildlife Management Research Unit in the Ecology Department. Two of the staff of IREC (Beatriz Arroyo and Javier Viñuela) coordinated a Concerted Action of the Vth Framework Program of the EU (REGHAB, "Reconciling game bird hunting and biodiversity", EVK2-CT-2000-200004). In fact, this proposal is partly aimed to improve our knowledge on crucial aspects for which information is lacking, as identified by that concerted action.
Beatriz Arroyo will lead the team at IREC, acting as Steering Committee member. She is a wildlife biologist, with long expertise on ecology and conservation biology of birds, as well as on the relationship between hunting and biodiversity conservation. She is a CSIC Researcher at IREC and one of her main current interest is the resolution of conflicts between hunting and biodiversity conservation. She is author of more than 50 scientific papers.
Javier Viñuela is a CSIC Researcher at IREC. He has a long history of research of several aspects of ecology, ethology, and conservation biology, mainly of birds. He is currently involved mainly in research on aspects of the biology and management of the red-legged partridge, one of the main small game species in Spain, particularly on the interaction between partridge management and biodiversity conservation. He has published more than 50 papers and lead 7 research projects, including a large-scale project on red kites based on information compilation at national level. He has participated as expert on national committees for bird and raptor conservation.
Miguel Delibesis a postdoctoral researcher at IREC, who will work full time for the HUNT project. He has worked on several factors affecting the population dynamics of game species. Particularly, he has developed research on the effect of habitat changes and game management practices on rabbit population trends in the Iberian Peninsula, and its effects on protected species. His interests also include the study of the conflicts between nature conservation and management of small game species. He has published 12 scientific papers.
Silvia Díaz is a PhD student at IREC who is starting her doctoral work on modeling human actions on redlegged partridge populations for the management of hunting uses of the territory by applying Geographic Information Systems. Her work includes a strong socioeconomic component, and the large-scale enquiry of land owners and game managers. Her PhD projects thus nicely fit part of the objectives of this proposal.