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Environmental agents begin the mountain goat census work in the province of Castellón

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Environmental agents from the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, have begun the work of the mountain goat census in the province of Castellón.

 

Currently there are two subspecies of ibex, the ‘Capra pyrenaica’ hispánica that occupies the entire peri-Mediterranean mountain arc and the ‘cabra pyrenaica’ victoriae that is distributed throughout the mountains of the centre of the peninsula.

 

To carry out the monitoring of the census of this species, a sampling consisting of the observation is made from 217 fixed points distributed throughout the province of Castellón and located in seven homogeneous distribution areas.

 

When choosing the fixed observation points, important factors such as good visibility, accessibility and territorial representation are taken into account.

 

The field work is carried out in winter coinciding with the mating season of this species, which means that the Environmental Agents who carry out this monitoring operate in high geographical points where temperatures are usually very low, since the two hours of daily observation foreseen in the work plan take place either at sunrise or at sunset.

 

All sightings are recorded on field cards and located on a cartographic map that shows the number of individuals, sex, class, age and distance of the observer.

 

Once these forms have been completed, the information is processed in order to estimate the populations in the province of Castellón, in order to identify the population trend in each area, adjust extraction quotas and obtain information on basic demographic parameters such as are; sex ratio, productivity, age structure and knowledge of the use of the territory.

 

This meticulous work allows us to improve the information to be able to make technical decisions against diseases such as scabies, which can affect these species and also advances in other types of uses such as tourism, photographic, ecological as well as awareness and environmental education.

 

These works have been carried out since 2008 always applying the same method called ‘population monitoring of the mountain goat in the province of Castellón’

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