Largest database on mammals in Portugal now available

by Marta Santos, University of Lisbon
September 02, 2022

The research team of the Red List of Mammals in Portugal, which is working on reviewing the threat and conservation status of these species in this country, carried out an “unprecedented compilation” of data on georeferenced occurrences of mammals in mainland Portugal and the Azores and Madeira.

The new public database includes 105,026 records of 92 species of terrestrial and marine mammals from 1873 to 2021 (of which 72% correspond to the period between 2000 and 2021). Among these over one thousand records, over 40 000 correspond to endangered species, according to the 2005 edition of Portugal’s Red List of Vertebrates and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, such as the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) and the and the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus).

“Several species of terrestrial mammals are threatened by habitat loss and human persecution such as predator control or illegal hunting, and some species of marine mammals are threatened by collision with ships, pollution, trawling and lack of resources. With this large dataset, it is possible to develop more robust studies on the factors that promote their occurrence and thus assist in the development of conservation strategies for these species in Portugal”, explains Clara Grilo, leader of this study, researcher at the Center for Environmental and Marine Sciences (CESAM), at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Portugal). The results of this study were published in the scientific journal Ecology.

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