Spanish Journal of Rural Development

The Spanish Journal of Rural Development (SJRD) is a quarterly scientific journal published by the Galician Association of Researchers for Rural Development Asociación Gallega de Investigadores para el Desarrollo Rural (AGAIDERU).

Span. j. rural dev. is a multidisciplinary journal which publishes original research articles of practical application in the fields of forestry, agronomy, the environment, rural planning, international cooperation and socioeconomic issues. The overall focus is on the sustainable rural development of local populations, within identified Priority Lines

The journal also applies a policy of exchange with various scientific journals, at both national and international levels, and it is indexed in important scientific databases.


  • Introduction

    Editor SJRD

    This special number of "Spanish Journal of Rural Development (SJRD)" includes a series of articles selected and subjected to a peer review of all papers presented in the "I Course of Veterinary and Wildlife Conservation" which was celebrated in Lugo from 13 to 15 of April, 2012. This fact manifests the multidisciplinary nature of our journal, but always from the point of view of rural development. Specifically, in this case, it is the Special Number 1, Volume IV, year 2013 of SJRD, result of our collaboration with the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Santiago de Compostela.

    A policy of biodiversity conservation involves the identification of goals and objectives, from which it is possible to develop action plans and strategies, with tasks in the care of state actors and others in the hands of non-state sectors. This course has been a meeting point and a forum for discussion among members of the university community and various institutions (public and private), being of particular interest to wildlife rehabilitation centers, zoos and health authorities. The publication of this issue, is a new step forward, which encourages our spirits, because, despite current difficulties, our wish does not reduce, on the contrary, it strengthens every day a little more, but we are always faithful to our ideals. "Spanish Journal of Rural Development” is today a tangible reality, since "Give credit to the works and not the words" ("The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha" by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra).

  • Prologue

    Ana Mª López Beceiro

    The conservation of the biodiversity is a challenge that all the members of our society have to assume responsibly. From the university, like generator of knowledge and training of the professional futures, are motivated of our contribution. However, matters so specific and these no always find included in the plans of studies. However, matters so specific as these, no always are included in the plans of studies. Thus we want to contribute our grain of sand by means of the periodic organization of specific courses related with the conservation of the wild species of free life or kept in captivity in the zoological parks.

    In this edition we have contributed with the resultant works of long years of experience related with the conservation of wild fauna and zoos. We have done special emphasis in distinct clinical aspects as capture, hospitalization, critical care, diagnostic and treatment of injured or ill individuals.

    It has deepened in the study of the environmental problems that influence in the dynamics of populations of emblematic species, so much by excess (overpopulation) and by defect (danger of extinction). They have treated those aspects of main interest of the legislation and helps related with the protection of the biodiversity, as the carried out by the Reservations of the Biosphere in the province of Lugo. Another of the notable thematic blocks is related with concrete appearances of the illnesses that affect to the wild populations (mainly parasitic and infectious) as well as the intoxications and poisonings. An important part of the species kept in the zoological parks find in dangerous situations of conservation in his countries of origin. The zoos exert an important work in the survival of these species since no only keep (and reproduce) individuals in captivity, but that take part actively in programs of conservation in situ.

    In addition to the valuable information contributed by each one of the speakers specialists, these scientific courses serve like point of meeting and forum of debate between the members of the university community, the distinct institutions and associations (public and private). With special interest to the centers of recovery of wild fauna, the zoological parks, the sanitary authorities and the local and provincial institutions.

  • Current status of the red partridge: management model for the conservation of genetic purity

    Barreiro, M.I., Pérez, J.A., Moure, P.

    The Red Partridge (Alectoris rufa) has suffered a great decline in their populations in recent years. As cause of this regression factors related to the habitat, predation, hunting management and repopulation are included. On this last point is where lies the problem of the hybridization of the Red Partridge, either by the introduction in our fields of alien species or hybrids from crosses with A. chukar or A. graeca. Being aware of this great problem, Fundación Biodiversidad and Fedenca, are developing a project whose aim is to establish the genetic purity map in the different Spanish provinces map. In order to do this samples are being taken: biometric measures, extraction of tongue for the genetic study and faeces for health study. In this first year of the project, we could conclude that no one of the provinces in the sample is free from hybridization with chukar partridge.

  • Major parasitosis of wild carnivores

    Martínez-Carrasco, C., Díaz, E. A., López, A.

    Wild carnivores could be parasitized by a large number of parasites, including endo-and ectoparasites. The evidence of the impact that these pathogens may produce on carnivore populations are difficult to evaluate. However, it is known that, under particular situations of stress, the equilibrium between parasites and their hosts could be broken and, in consequence, wild carnivore suffers a parasitic disease with evident symptoms. In fact, parasites could be the cause of a longterm impact on these wild species and, thus, compromising its viability.

  • Reference regulations about protection of biodiversity

    Díaz, S.

    Biodiversity is very important for humanity, because ecosystems provide us with essential environmental services for life. The loss of biodiversity and therefore of various ecosystems could lead to serious consequences for the future of the human species and its welfare. This decrease is due to factors such as changes in land use, climate change, invasive species, overexploitation and pollution. The international community, who understood the environment as a tool in the service of man, not until the 70 supports the state of degradation that has led to the environment. Given the evident and progressive reduction of biodiversity, the international community initiated contacts and the creation of working groups that resulted in various treaties and international agreements. The Convention on Biological Diversity, ratified at the Rio Summit by 178 countries, led subsequently triggered regulatory developments in the International Environmental Law. The European Union developed its own Strategy of Biodiversity under the Convention of Biodiversity. This strategy has integrated biodiversity concerns into common policies with involvement in environment, such as the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy, thus participating in key sectors of the European Union policy.

  • Wildlife as reservoirs of emerging viral diseases: Avian influenza, West Nile, Schmallenberg

    Mora, A.

    In recent years there has been an increasing detection of emerging infectious diseases. The term "emerging" is defined as that disease whose etiologic agent is causing cases in an area or geographical region so far unaffected, or involving species not described so far, or whose agent has not been detected up to now. Many of these emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, and the role of wildlife has proved critical in their maintenance and transmission. This phenomenon is influenced by many factors such as the increased contact between human and animal populations, the trade globalization, and the ecological imbalances. Therefore, surveillance and control programs of these diseases are necessary to have multidisciplinary teams, which have professional human and veterinary medicine, epidemiologists, virologists and zoologists (Rodriguez et al., 2009).

  • Conservation projects in the ZooBotánico Jerez

    Cuadrado, M.

    This paper presents some of the Conservation Projects achieved by ZooBotánico Jerez, a modern institution where conservation of species, education and research play a crucial and important role. The paper includes a number of chapters as follows. (1) Historical evolution of zoos: the deep transformation suffered by old zoos (the so called “Menageries” or “Casa de fieras”) to modern zoos considered as conservation centres today. (2) Functions of modern zoos (conservation, education and research). (3) How the conservation of species is achieved? In short, by ex situ (specifically, EEP and ESB Programmes, both coordinated by EAZA) or in situ collaborations (the economical or human support to conservation programmes in nature). And finally, (4) a description of conservation programmes achieved by our zoo. For instance, the ex situ Breeding Programme for the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardina), Eremita Project (a study of releasing methods for the establishment of a Northern Bald Ibis, Geronticus eremita population in Spain), the maintenance of a rehabilitation centre and recently, an AREA (area for the reproduction of endangered species) where the access of public is restricted and many conservation actions achieved with an ample range of endangered species (mostly birds but also some plants). Also, we develop several research projects in collaboration with a number of research institutions.

  • Professional expectations: role of wildlife and zoo animals veterinary.

    Casares, C., Rubiños, C.

    It is common that a recently licensed vet does not know all the career options that are within their reach, occasionally missing interesting options. It is important to know the career of veterinary science in its different branches, as well as the necessary training and qualifications available in each case. The most important professional options could be classified in; small animals clinic, exotic animals clinic, nutrition, clinic and reproduction of large animals, scientific research, public health, and conservation (wildlife, zoos and aquariums). Each branch requires specific training and experience, with several postgraduate degrees available in each case. In the field of working with wild animals, there are significant differences in the role of the veterinarian as working in wildlife conservation, in a rehabilitation centre or in a zoo or aquarium. For the conservation of wildlife, it is important to know the main institutions involved and the different conservation projects in operation, as well as having the necessary specific training and an official qualification that accredits it.

  • Lead and wildlife: a silent poisoning

    Pérez, M.

    Lead is a non-essential element which constitutes a serious threat for wildlife: only in Spain, hunters discharge more than 6000 t of lead shot, of which 30-50 t are deposited in wetlands. Lead poisoning has been a major problem in those wet areas where spent lead shot is ingested by waterfowl while ingesting grit to aid in grinding coarse food. Ingested lead shot is eroded by ventricular grinding; the metal becomes solubilized, and it is absorbed by the gastrointestinal system with systemic distribution to soft tissues and bones. Once absorbed, lead produces a broad spectrum of toxic effects, affecting the immune function, the neuroendocrine signaling and the reproductive system. In this sense, lead poisoning caused by ingested lead shotgun pellets or fishing gears has long been known as a cause of mortality in waterfowl and has led to legislation in order to limit its use in many countries. But not only waterfowl are directly affected by this toxic metal: predatory and scavenging birds are at risk, too, when they feed on animals injured or killed by lead ammunition, thus constituting a secondary Pb poisoning through prey consumption.

  • Allochthonous control carnivores (wild cats) in the conservation of native insular bird life

    Díaz, E.A., López, A.M., Martínez-Carrasco, C.

    The expansion of human being on Earth has increased exponentially the number of alien species arriving in new territories and which seriously endanger the survival of native fauna; in fact, today it is considered the second cause of biodiversity loss around the world. Specifically, the domestic cat (Felis catus), one of the 100 worst invasive species existing, has been introduced in almost all of the islands in the world, that are environments especially vulnerable to the presence of allochthonous predators. Therefore, it is essential to control feral cats on island environments through the use of effective and friendly environment techniques.

  • Poisons and poisoning. Implications in the conservation for wildlife programs

    Hernández-Moreno, D.

    Recovery programs of wildlife have a great importance to protect and enhance populations of animals on the environment. One of the potential risks to carry out this work is the appearance of poisoned baits in the wild. In fact, poisoning is one of the most important diseases affecting wildlife, either due to accidental causes or criminal proceedings. The consolidation of Veterinary Toxicology groups responsible for anti-venom is a great support to detect possible cases of poisoning.

  • Fox situation in Galicia : population and sanitary aspects

    Rigueira, L., Díaz, S.

    The fox is a carnivorous mammal belonging to the family Canidae, the genus Vulpes and vulpes species. Within this species two subspecies have been described: Vulpes vulpes crucigera (Bechstein, 1789) and Vulpes vulpes silaceus (Miller, 1907). It is the most abundant carnivore in the world, distributed by almost the entire northern hemisphere, thanks to its adaptability to different habitats and the ease of recovery of populations. The proximity of this carnivore humanized environments has its downside, as it traditionally was regarded as vermin and therefore was widely sought their extermination campaigns, either on the pretext of reducing health risks or to protect interests of farmers and hunters. The works of estimation red fox population at national level are limited, falling to very limited areas at particular times. In Galicia there are more complete studies containing data from all four provinces in different areas. These studies show Galicia as one of the most densely fox in the Iberian Peninsula and even Europe. High population densities may require monitoring of the species to reduce health risks, both to man and to other animals.

  • Wildlife clinical: basic care and hospitalization

    López, A.M., Fidalgo, L.E.

    The main purpose of the wild fauna hospitalization is preserving life, substantially improve their quality and restore their status of health and well-being. Often occur with severe metabolic or nutritional disorders and are not in condition to support recovery of long diagnostic or surgical episodes. Although some interventions must practice in emergency situations without the support and benefit of a full assessment, in the majority of situations exists long enough to accumulate accurate clinical data to proceed in a safe and organized. We must differentiate that it is really urgent endangering the life of the animal (hypothermia, hypoglycemia, or dehydration serious) and remedied immediately, and what injuries can expect. The most common cause of complications associated with exploration, hospitalization, surgery or anesthesia is an inadequate assessment of the patient or a poor planning of the procedure can be avoided by applying simple principles. In many cases, the preparation of patient is more momentous for survival than the surgery itself. We must make every effort to improve the general status of very sick patients and determine the best time for surgery.

  • Traffic accidents due to knocking down of animals: current and growing problem

    Fidalgo, L.E., González, M.A., Ramil, L.A., Díaz Vidal., S.,López, A.M.

    Traffic accidents which occur as a result of the trampling of wild animals are a growing problem in all developed countries of the world, as is the case for example in United States, Australia, Sweden, Austria, Germany or Spain (Groot and Hazebroek 1996; Romin and Bissonette 1996; Lagos et al., 2012). The problem reaches worrying levels, by the social damage it causes, in those places where both the channels of communication with important capacity, high densities of vertebrates wild of medium and large size and speeds of vehicles proportionally high for the characteristics of the track (Langbein et al., 2011; Mysterud 2004; Seiler 2004). The objective of the present study has been quantified the problem of accidents by trampling of wild fauna in our area of study and establish the involvement of the different animal species in the accidents occurring in different types of roads of the province of Lugo for the past 6 years.

  • Role of zoos in the conservation of protected and endangered species: The Interpretation Centre Avifauna.

    Ibáñez, A., Sánchez, R., López, A.M.

    The Centro de Interpretación de Avifauna was established in 2000, after a long journey that began in the 1980s, promoted by a small group of fans to ornithology. Initially, the zoological collection was limited to species belonging to order them Galliformes and Anseriformes, species relatively easy to keep in captivity, and that did not require high economic or human efforts. Avifauna has always pursued an objective very ambitious and clear: the create a large zoological collection, not so much the number but the uniqueness and differentiation with respect to other zoos. A collection representative and at the same time that would serve as a support for research through the experience and the knowledge that it provides tenure and breeding in captivity of species that are in danger of extinction, or in the future may be. Efforts with institutions and official agencies were able to obtain the necessary support which allowed the expansion of facilities and the acquisition of more interesting birds from the ornithological point of view. Currently has over 250 species, 50 of them included in the catalog CITES, in danger of extinction (or included in international breeding programs).