Iberoriental reed bunting

Mediterranean coastal wetlands are a very dynamic ecosystem type, which makes the study of habitats of the species living there quite difficult. GIS make it possible to analyze large-scale spatial and temporal data, allowing the analysis of the evolution of wetlands in terms of changes in vegetation, water coverage, etc.

We use GIS techniques, field based multi-season maps of habitats and high spatial resolution images (SPOT-5), together with habitat selection models, for obtaining information of the population dynamics of the iberoriental reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus witherbyi), which is suffering a strong population decline in the last decades in Spain. Our study area is the Pego-Oliva wetland in Alicante, eastern Spain. 

We have found that the territories for the species have decreased during the last years, due to the variations of the key vegetation for the iberoriental reed bunting. These changes in the important habitats for the iberoriental reed bunting might be related to the abandonment of shepherding techniques and changes on the hydrological regimes. We must continue to monitor the reed bunting habitats and proposing new habitat management practices.