Current status of the threatened Dupont’s lark Chersophilus duponti in Spain: overestimation, decline, and extinction of local populations

Duponts Lark (Chersophilus duponti) Science Article 2


The European population of Dupont’s lark Chersophilus duponti, restricted to Spanish steppe, was estimated to be 13,000 pairs in c. 50 populations in 1988. There is, however, recent evidence that this number was overestimated because of the previous use of line transects for estimating population sizes. In 2002-2004 we surveyed 34 previously known local populations in patches of variable size across half of its Spanish distribution. We found 13 (38%) local populations to be extinct, and a total of only 283-339 territories in 17 of the extant populations, seven of which held <5 territories. This census contrasts dramatically with the estimate of c. 3,000 pairs in the same populations in the 1980s. We estimate that the present Spanish population is c. 1,300 pairs.

Jose L. Tella, Matthias Vogeli, David Serrano and Martina Carrete, Oryx Vol 39 No 1 January 2005

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