Research topics

Research Topics

Our research group works mainly in Ecology and Conservation of Biodiversity and is aimed to study the functioning of populations and communities in Mediterranean ecosystems, analyze the patterns of distribution, strategies and vital population dynamics of vertebrates and to assess the effect of human activity and the instruments for biodiversity protection

Research Projects

  • Population dynamics, dispersal and genetic structure in fragmented landscapes. The individual-based models applied to the study of population viability analysis in the Testudo graeca
  • Use of wild herbivore carrions for vertebrates: numerical response, population dynamics, community structure and ecosystem functioning
  • Trophic resources, intraspecific competition and density-dependence: effects on the availability of carrion in the regulation of populations of Golden Eagle
  • Mobility patterns and their environmental footprint at the University Miguel Hernández
  • Perception and social practices of new residents from rural tourism in the province of Almería in relation to the problems of collection and captive of Testudo graeca
  • Species habitat relationships and effects of changes of use in semiarid environments: Mediterranean, Sahel, Central Asia and Patagonia
  • Waterbird communities in wetlands: metapoblacional dynamics, community structure and connectivity
  • Effects of subsidies on marine food webs in semi-arid terrestrial ecosystems
  • Application of landscape ecology in the conservation of endangered species and the design of protected natural areas in the southeastern Iberian Peninsule


SCI Publications



BLAZQUEZ, M., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., BOTELLA, F., CARRETE, M. & EGUÍA, S. Spatio-temporal segregation of facultative avian scavengers at ungulate carcasses. Acta Oecologica 35 (5), pp. 645-650

ANADÓN, J.D., GIMÉNEZ, A., BALLESTAR, R. & PÉREZ, I. Evaluation of local ecological knowledge as a method for collecting extensive data on animal abundance. Conservation Biology 23 (3), pp. 617-625 .

LAMBERTUCCI, S.A., TREJO, A., DI MARTINO, S., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., DONÁZAR, J.A., HIRALDO, F. Spatial and temporal patterns in the diet of the Andean condor: Ecological replacement of native fauna by exotic species  Animal Conservation 12 (4), pp. 338-345

MARGALIDA, A., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., EGUÍA, S., ARROYO, A.B.M., HERNÁNDEZ, F.J., BAUTISTA, J..Assessing the diet of breeding bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) in mid-20th century in Spain: A comparison to recent data and implications for conservation. European Journal of Wildlife Research 55 (4), pp. 443-447

MOLEÓN, M., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., REAL, J., GARCÍA-CHARTON, J.A., BAUTISTA, J., PALMA, L. & BAYLE, P.  Large scale spatio-temporal shifts in the diet of a predator mediated by an emergent infectious disease of its main prey. Journal of Biogeopraphy 36 (8), pp. 1502-1515

MOLEÓN, M., BAUTISTA, J., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., GIL-SÁNCHEZ, J.M. Diet of non-breeding Bonelli's Eagles Hieraaetus fasciatus at settlement areas of southern Spain.  Bird Study 56 (1), pp. 142-146

FRITZ, U., HARRIS, J., FAHD, S., ROUAG, R., GRACIÁ, E., GIMÉNEZ, A., SIROKY, P., KALBOUSSI, M., HUNSDÖRFER, A. Mitochondrial phylogeography of Testudo graeca in the Western Mediterranean Old complex divergence in North Africa and recen arrival in Europe. Amphibia-Reptilia 30, (1), pp. 63-80(18)

PEREZ-GARCÍA, J.M., BOTELLA, F., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., HIRALDO, F., DONÁZAR, J.A. y SAYAGO, J.M. Broods of five fledglings in the Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo). Journal of Raptor Research (in press).

CARRETE, M., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., BENITEZ, J.R., LOBON, M., DONAZAR, J.A. Large scale risk-assessment of wind-farms on population viability of a globally endangered long-lived raptor. Biological Conservation (in press)

SEBASTIÁN-GONZÁLEZ, E., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., BOTELLA, F. Agricultural ponds as alternative habitat for waterbirds: spatial and temporal patterns of abundance and management strategies  European Journal of Wildlife Research (in press)


MOLEÓN, M., AMARAZ, P. & SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A.  An emergent infectous disease triggering large scale hyperpredation.  PloS ONE,  3 (6) e2307. 2008.

CARRETE, M., TELLA, J.L., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., GIL, J.M. & MOLEÓN, M. Current caveats and further directions in the study of density-dependence.  Oikos, 117 1115-1119. 2008.

PARDO, M.T., ESTEVE, M.A., GIMÉNEZ, A., MARTÍNEZ-FERNÁNDEZ, J., CARREÑO, M.F., SERRANO, J. & MIÑANO, J. Assessment of hydrological alterations on wandering beetle assemblages (coleopteran Carabidae and Tenebrionidae) in coastal wetlands of arid Mediterranean systems. Journal of Arid Environments 72(10) 1803-1810. 2008.

TAVECCHIA, G., MÍNGUEZ, E., LEÓN, D., LOUZAO, M. & ORO, D. Living close, doing differently small-scale asynchrony in demography of two species of seabirds.  Ecology 89 77-85. 2008.

SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., DONÁZAR, J.A., CARRETE, M., MARGALIDA, A.,  SELVA, N., TELLA, J.L., BLANCO, G., LEMUS, J.A., BLÁZQUEZ, M., CORTÉS-AVIZANDA, A. & HIRALDO, F. ¿Ecosistemas asépticos? Muladares y conservación de la biodiversidad. Quercus, 268 80-82. 2008.

SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., DONÁZAR, J.A., DELGADO, A., FORERO, M., CEBALLOS, O., DE LA RIVA, M., BENÍTEZ, J.R., BARCELL, M., HERNÁNDEZ, F. & HIRALDO, F. La langosta ¿Plaga bíblica o maná? Quercus, 271 51-53. 2008. Madrid.

MOLEÓN, M., BAUTISTA, J., GIL-SÁNCHEZ, J.M., & SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. Diet of dispersal  Bonelli´s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) in temporary settlement areas. Ardeola.

PÉREZ, I.  Aspectos sociales y culturales de la conservación de especies el caso de la tortuga mora en la Región de Murcia. Ecosistemas, 17 160-165.


SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., DONÁZAR, J.A., DELAGADO, A., FORERO, M., CEBALLOS, O. & HIRALDO, F Desert locusts outbreaks in the Sahel: resource competition, predation and ecological effects of pest control.  Journal of Applied Ecology, 44: 263-269.

CARRETE, M., GRANDE, J.M., TELLA, J.L., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., DONÁZAR, J.A., DÍAZ-DELGADO, R. & ROMO, A. Habitat, human pressure, and social behaviour: Partialling out factors affecting large-scale territory extinction in an endangered vulture. Biological Conservation, 136: 143-154.

 ANADÓN, J.D., GIMÉNEZ, A., MARTÍNEZ, M., PALAZÓN, J.A. & ESTEVE, M.A. Assessing changes in habitat quality due to land use changes in the spur-thighed tortoise Testudo graeca using hierarchical predictive habitat models. Diversity and Distributions, 13(3): 324-331.

GUIRAO, J., LÓPEZ, A., BURGUI, M. Y PÉREZ, I. Jornadas sobre la Red Natura 2000 en la Comarca del Noroeste. Situación actual y perspectivas de futuro. Jornadas sobre la Red Natura 2000 en la Comarca del Noroeste. Situación actual y perspectivas de futuro. Consejería de Industria y Medio Ambiente. Dirección General del Medio Natural. Murcia. 2007.

MOLEÓN, M., GIL-SÁNCHEZ, J.M., REAL, J., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. Y SÁNCHEZ-CLEMOT, J.F. Non-breeding feeding ecology of territorial Bonelli´s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) in Spain. Ardeola, 54: 135-143. 2007. Madrid.

PÉREZ-GARCÍA, J.M. Apuntes sobre dieta de la Gineta Genetta genetta (L.) en el valle del Henares (Madrid). Galemys nº 19 (1).

PÉREZ, I., GIMÉNEZ, A. Y PEDREÑO. Social research into phenomenen of the captivity of the Greek or Spur-thighed Tortoise in the Southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. AmbientalMente sustentable. Revista Científica Galego-Lusófana de Educación  Ambiental, 4: 35 – 49. 2007


ABELLÁN, P., SÁNCHEZ-FERNÁNDEZ, D., MILLÁN, A., BOTELLA, F., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. & GIMÉNEZ, A. (2006). Irrigation ponds as macroinvertebrate habitat in a semi-arid agricultural landscape (SE Spain). Journal of arid environments.  67, 255-269

ANADÓN, J.D., GIMENEZ, A., PEREZ, I., MARTÍNEZ, M. & ESTEVE, M.A. (2006) Habitat selection by the spur-thighed tortoise Testudo graeca in a multisuccessional landscape: Implications for habitat management. Biodiversity and Conservation 15: 2287-2299.

ANADÓN JD, GIMENEZ A, MARTINEZ M, ET AL. (2006) Factors determining the distribution of the spur-thighed tortoise Testudo graeca in south-east Spain: a hierarchical approach. Ecography 29: 339-346.

CARRETE, M., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., TELLA, J.L., GIL-SÁNCHEZ, J.M. & MOLEÓN, M.  (2006) Components of breeding performance in two competing species: habitat heterogeneity, individual quality and density-depence. Oikos, 112, 680-690.


ANADÓN, J.D., GIMENEZ, A., PEREZ, I., MARTÍNEZ, M. & ESTEVE, M.A. (2005) The role of relief in local abundance patterns of the spurthighed tortoise Testudo graeca graeca in south-east Spain. Herpetological Journal 15: 285-290.
ANA DE LEÓN, EDUARDO MÍNGUEZ, & VERÓNICA R. NEVES. (2005). Factors affecting breeding distribution and  seabird richness within azores archipelago. Atlantic Seabirds 7(1)15-22.

A. DE LEÓN, E. MÍNGUEZ, P. HARVEY, E. MEEK, JON CRANE AND R. W. FURNESS. (2005). Factors affecting breeding distribution of European Storm Petrels in Orkney and Shetland.  Bird Study.

NAVARRO, J., MÍNGUEZ, E., GARCÍA, D., VILLACORTA, C., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., BOTELLA; F., CARRETE, M. & GIMÉNEZ, A. (2005). Differential effectiveness of playback for little owl Athene noctua surveys before and after sunset. Journal of Raptor Research. 89(4) 457-461.

NAVARRO, J.A., BOTELLA, F., MARHUENDA, A., SASTRE, P., SÁNCHEZ-PINA, A. & PALLÁ, V. (2005). Identification and partial characterisation of Lettuce big-vein associated virus and Mirafiori lettuce big-vein virus in common weeds found amongst Spanish lettuce crops and their role in lettuce big-vein disease transmission. European Journal of Plant Pathology. 113: 25-34

D. ORO, A. DE LEÓN, E. MÍNGUEZ, R.W. FURNESS. (2005). Estimating predation on breeding european storm-petrels by yellow-legged gulls. Journal of Zoology 265 1-9.

S. C. VOTIER, J. E. CRANE, S. BEARHOP, A. DE LEÓN, MCSORLEY, E. MÍNGUEZ, I.P MITCHELL, M. PARSONS, RI. A PHILLIPS AND R. W. FURNESS. (2005). Nocturnal foraging by great skuas Stercorarius skua: implications for conservation of storm-petrel populations. J. Ornithol.

SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., ANADÓN, J.D., CARRETE, M., GIMÉNEZ, A., NAVARRO, J., VILLACORTA, C. & BOTELLA, F. (2005) Breeding waterbirds in relation to artificial pond attributes: implications for the design of irrigation facilities. Biodiversity And Conservation 14: 1627-1639. PDF

SANZ, A., MINGUEZ, E., ANADÓN, J.D. & HERNÁNDEZ, V.J. (2005). Heterogeneous use of space in three breeding territories of Bonelli's eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus). Ardeola 52: 347-350.


 B. ARROYO,  MÍNGUEZ, E., PALOMARES, L.  & J. PINILLA. (2004). The timing and pattern of moult of flight feathers of european storm-petrel hydrobates pelagicus in atlantic and mediterranean breeding areas. ARDEOLA 51(2) 365-373.

PÉREZ, I., GIMÉNEZ, A., SÁNCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., ANADÓN, J.D., MARTÍNEZ, M. & ESTEVE, M.A. (2004) Non-commercial collection of spur-thighed tortoises (Testudo graeca graeca): a cultural problem in southeast Spain. Biological Conservation 118: 175-181.

A. MARTÍNEZ-ABRAÍN, B. SARZO, E. VILLUENDAS, M. A. BARTOLOMÉ, E. MÍNGUEZ &  D. ORO. (2004). Unforeseen effects of ecosystem restoration on yellow-legged gulls in a small western mediterranean island. Environmental Conservation  31 (3) 1-6.

E. NARTÍNEZ-LÓPEZ, P. MARIA-MOJICA, J.E. MARTÍNEZ, J.A. SÁNCHEZ, I. PAGÁN, F. BOTELLA, J.F. CALVO & A.J. GARCÍA-FERNÁNDEZ. (2004) Organochloride pesticides distribution pattern in blood of nestling of Booted eagle (Hieratus pennatus) and Eagle owl (Bubo bubo) from southeastern Spain. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology197:

J. A. NAVARRO, F. BOTELLA, A. MARUHENDA, P. SASTRE, M. A. SÁNCHEZ-PINA, & V. PALLAS (2004). Comparative Infection Progress Analysis of Lettuce big-vein virus and Mirafiori lettuce virus in Lettuce Crops by Developed Molecular Diagnosis Techniques. Phytopathology 94: 470-477.

ONTIVEROS, D., REAL, J., BALBONTÍN, J., CARRETE, M., FERREIRO, E., FERRER, M., MAÑOSA, S., PLEGUEZUELOS, J.M. & SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. (2004)  Biología de la conservación del águila perdicera (Hieraaetus fasciatus) en España: aplicaciones de la investigación científica. Ardeola, 51

TELLA, J.L., CARRETE, M., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., SERRANO, D., GAVRILOV, A., SKLYARENKO, S. CEBALLOS, O., DONÁZAR, J.A. & HIRALDO , F. (2004). Effects of land-uses, nesting-site availability and the presence of larger raptors on the abundance of vulnerable breeding lesser kestrels in Kazakhstan.  Oryx, 38: 224-227.


DE LEÓN, A. & MÍNGUEZ, E. (2003). Occupancy rates and breeding performance of European Storm petrels breeding in artificial nest boxes. Sci Mar 67 (2) 109-112

 A. DE LEÓN,  E. MÍNGUEZ & B. BELLIURE. (2003). Self-odour recognition in european storm-petrel chicks. BEHAVIOUR (140) 925-933

B. GOSALVEZ, J.A. NAVARRO, A. LORCA, F. BOTELLA, M.A. SÁNCHEZ-PINA, & V. PAYAS. (2003).  Detection of Melon necrotic spot virus in water samples and melon plants by molecular methods. Journal of Virological Methods. 113: 87–93.

GRANDE, J.M., NEGRO, J.J., TELLA, J.L., DONÁZAR, J.A. GARRIDO, J., HORNERO, D.,  SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., BENÍTEZ, J.R. & BARCELL, M. (2003). Colorido y coprofagia. Investigación y Ciencia (Scientific American), 326: 34-35.

MÍNGUEZ, E. & ORO D. (2003). Variations in nesting mortality in the European Storm-petrel. Ardea. ARDEA, 91 (1)

E. MÍNGUEZ & D. ORO. (2003) Variations in nest mortality in the european storm petrel hydrobates pelagicus.

E. MÍNGUEZ, D. ORO, E. DE JUANA & A. MARTÏNEZ-ABRAÍN.(2003) Mediterranean seabird conservation: what can we do?. SCIENTIA MARINA, 67 (2) 03-06

MORENO, J., POLO, V., SANZ, J.J, DE LEÓN, E. MÍNGUEZ &  P.VEIGA. (2003). The relationship between population means and variance in reproductive success: implications of life history and ecology. EVOL. ECOL. RESEARCH (5)  1223-1237

NAVARRO, J., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., BOTELLA; F., CARRETE, M., SKLYARENKO, S., GRAVILOV, A., DONÁZAR, J.A., CEBALLOS, O. & HIRALDO, F. (2003). Diet of three sympatric owls in steppe habitats of eastern Kazakhstan. Journal of Raptor Research, 37: 256-258.


CARRETE, M., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., MARTÍNEZ, J.E., SÁNCHEZ, M.A. & CALVO, J.F. (2002). Factors influencing the decline of Bonelli´s Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus in southeastern Spain: demography, habitat or competition?. Biodiversity and Conservation, 11: 975-985.

NEGRO, J.J, GRANDE, J.M., TELLA, J.L., GARRIDO, J., HORNERO, D.,  DONÁZAR, J.A., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., BENÍTEZ, J.R. & BARCELL, M. (2002). Coprophagy: An unusual source of essential carotenoids. Nature, 416: 807-808.


CARRETE, M., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., MARTÍNEZ, J.E., PALAZÓN, J.A. & CALVO, J.F. (2001).  Distribución espacial del águila-azor perdicera (Hieraaetus fasciatus) y del águila real (Aquila chrysaetos) en la región de Murcia. Ardeola, 48: 175-182.

MÍNGUEZ, E., FERRER, M. & BELLIURE J. (2001). Bill Size in Relation with Position in the Colony in the Chinstrap Penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica). Waterbirds 24(1):34-38

MINGUEZ, E, ANGULO, E. & SIEBERING, V. (2001). Factors influencing length of the post-fledging period and timing of dispersal in Bonelli eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) in Southern Spain. J. Raptor Research 35 (3): 228-234.

REAL, J., GRANDE, J.M., MAÑOSA, S. & SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. (2001). Geographic variation of the causes of death of Bonelli´s Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus in Spain. Bird Study, 48: 221-228.

VEIGA, P.; MORENO, J; CORDERO, P.J. & E. MÍNGUEZ. (2001). Territory size and polygyny in the Spotless Starling: resource-holding potential or social inertial? Canadian J. Zoology 79: 1-6.


CARRETE, M., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. & CALVO, J.F. (2000) Breeding densities and habitat attributes of Golden Eagles in Southeastern Spain. Journal of Raptor Research, 34: 48-52.

SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., CARRETE, M., CALVO, J.F. & MARTÍNEZ, J.E. (2000). Age and breeding success of a Golden Eagle population in southeast Spain. Bird Study, 46: 235-237.


BELLIURE, J., L.M. CARRASCAL, MÍNGUEZ, E., & FERRER, M. (1999)Limited effects of egg size in the growth of Chinstrap penguins chicks. Polar. Biol. 21: 80-83.

MARTÍNEZ, J.E., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., SÁNCHEZ, M.A., MARTÍNEZ, E., EGUÍA, S., JIMÉNEZ, P., PICAZO, H. Y GARCÍA, J.  (1999) El águila perdicera en la región de Murcia. Foresta, 1: 64-65.

MARTÍNEZ, J.E. & SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. (1999). Invernada de Aguililla Calzada (Hieraaetus pennatus) y Culebrera Europea (Circaetus gallicus) en la Península Ibérica. Ardeola, 46: 93-96.

MERINO, S., MÍNGUEZ, E. & BELLIURE, B. (1999). Ectoparasites effects on nestling Storm Petrels. Waterbirds, 22(2): 297-301.

MORENO, J., VEIGA, J.P., CORDERO, P. & MíNGUEZ, E. (1999). Effects of paternal care on reproductive success in the polygynous spotless starling Sturnus unicolor. Behav. Ecol., Sociobiol. 47: 47-53

RICO, L., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., IZQUIERDO, A., GARCÍA, J.R., MORÁN, S. Y RICO, D. (1999) Tendencias recientes en las poblaciones del Aguila Real Aquila chrysaetos y el Aguila-Azor Perdicera Hieraaetus fasciatus en la provincia de Valencia. Ardeola, 46: 235-238.

SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. & CALVO, J.F. (1999) Raptor distribution in relation to landscape composition in semiarid mediterranean habitats. Journal of Applied Ecology, 36: 254-262.

SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. & CALVO, J.F. (1999). : Trees and rocks: habitat response of Tawny owls Strix aluco in semiarid landscapes. Fennica, 76: 79-87.


MÍNGUEZ, E. (1998). The costs of incubation in British Storm Petrel: an experimental study in a single egg layer. Avian Biology, 29: 183-189.

MÍNGUEZ, E., J.A. FARGALLO, A. DE LEON, J. MORENO & E. MORENO, (1998). Age-related variations in bill size of Chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica). Colonial Waterbirds 21: 66-68.

SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. & CALVO, J.F. (1998)Importance of birds and biases in diet study methods of Montagu´s Harriers Circus pygargus in southeast Spain. Journal of Raptor Research, 32: 254-256.


MARTÍNEZ, J.E., SÁNCHEZ, M.A., SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A. Y CARMONA, D. (1994)  Régime alimentaire de L'aigle de Bonelli durant la pèriode d'elevage des jeunes (Murcia, Espagne). Alauda, 62: 51-56. 1994.

SANCHEZ-ZAPATA, J.A., SÁNCHEZ, M.A., FERNÁNDEZ, F., EGUÍA, S., CALCO, J.F. Y CARMONA, D. (1995). Distribución, estatus y notas sobre la biología del Aguilucho cenizo en Alicante y Murcia. Alytes, VII: 333-339.
COSTA, J.C., CATALÁ, M.S., BOTELLA, F., NUEZ, F.& CUARTERO, J. (1992) Freda: A new Tomato Parthenocarpic Hybrid.HortScience 27(2): 185-186.

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