Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

New insights into social and space use behaviour of the endangered Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus)

European Journal of Wildlife Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

We describe novel aspects of the social organisation of the Pyrenean desman, Galemys pyrenaicus, by studying home range and shelter use behaviour in a local population. A total of 45 individuals were trapped of which 20 provided informative radiotracking data. In contrast to the currently accepted hypothesis [Stone RD. The social organization of the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) as revealed by radiotelemetry. J Zool 212:117–129; 1987b; Stone RD, Gorman ML. Social organization of the European mole (Talpa europaea) and the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus). Mammal Rev 15 (1):35–42; 1985] individuals were not strictly territorial. Notably, there was no aggression between conspecifics, with simultaneous use of resting sites (shelters used for more than one hour). Resting sites were not permanent or exclusive for any individual. Individuals shared resting sites simultaneously, regardless of sex or age. Our observations recall for a new evaluation of the social structure and organisation of this species based on the new evidence that reveals higher frequency of social interactions than previously described. Resting sites may play an important role in the social organisation of the species, for instance by allowing direct and indirect communicative interactions among neighbouring individuals. This finding is of significance for the management (e.g. census and population monitoring) and conservation (e.g. habitat suitability to allow social interactions) of this endemic and seriously threatened unique mammal.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  • Aymerich P, Gosàlbez J (2004) Programa de monitorització de l’almesquera (Galemys pyrenaicus) a Catalunya Departament de Biologia Animal. University of Barcelona, Barcelona

    Google Scholar 

  • Aymerich P, Casadesus F, Paches O, Gosàlbez J (2000) L’almesquera (Galemys pyrenaicus) a Catalunya Distribució i caracterizació de l’hàbitat. University of Barcelona-Enviromental Department (dmah), Barcelona

    Google Scholar 

  • Beissinger SR, McCullough DR (2002) Population viability analysis. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

    Google Scholar 

  • Bertrand A (1993a) Répartition géographique du Desman des Pyrénées Galemys pyrenaicus dans les Pyrénées françaises. In: Proceedings of the Meeting on the Pyrenean Desman, Lisbon, pp 41–52

  • Bertrand A (1993b) Stratégies alimentaires du Desman des Pyréneés Galemys pyrenaicus dans un cours d’eau des Pyrénées françaises. In: Proceedings of the Meeting on the Pyrenean Desman, Lisbon, pp 13–25

  • Cabral MJ, Almeida J, Almeida PR, Dellinger T, Ferrand de Almeida N, Oliveira ME, Palmeirim JM, Queiroz AI, Rogado L, Santos-Reis M (2005) Livro Vermelho dos Vertebrados de Portugal. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza, Lisbon

    Google Scholar 

  • Caro T (1999) The behavior–conservation interface. Trends Ecol Evol 14(9):366–369. doi:10.1016/s0169-5347(99)01663-8

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Castién E (1994) Estudio bioecológico de la comunidad de micromamíferos (Insectivora y Rodentia) de un hayedo acidófilo (Quinto Real, Navarra). University of Barcelona, Barcelona

    Google Scholar 

  • Castién E, Gosàlbez J (1995) Diet of Galemys pyrenaicus (Geoffroy, 1811) in the north of the Pyrenean Peninsula. Netherlands J Zool 45:422–430

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • González EJ, Villate I, Castién E, Rey I, Gosàlbez J (2002) Age determination of Galemys pyrenaicus. Acta Theriol 47(1):107–112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Loy A, Dupré E, Capanna E (1994) Territorial behavior in Talpa romana, a fossorial insectivore from South Central Italy. J Mammal 75(2):529–535

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mills LS (2007) Conservation of wildlife populations: demography, genetics and management. Blackwell, Singapore

    Google Scholar 

  • Niethammer G (1970) Beobachtungen am Pyrenean-Desman, Galemys pyrenaicus. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 70:157–182

    Google Scholar 

  • Nores C, Ojeda F, Ruano A, Villate I, Ginzalez J, Cano JM, Garcia E (1998) Estimating the population density of Galemys pyrenaicus in four Spanish rivers. J Zool 246:454–457

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nowak RM (1999) Walker’s mammals of the world, vol 1. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore

    Google Scholar 

  • Onufrenya AS, Onufrenya MV (1993) Desman in Oka State Reserve (Russia). Paper presented at the Proceedings of the Meeting on the Pyrenean Desman, Lisbon

  • Palomo LJ, Gisbert J (2002) Atlas de mamíferos terrestres de España. General de Conservación de la Naturaleza – SECEM-SECEMU, Madrid

  • Peyre A (1961) Recherches sur l’intersexualité spécifique chez Galemys pyrenaicus. University of Toulouse, Toulouse

    Google Scholar 

  • Queiroz AI, Almada V (1993) Some observations of Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus Geoffroy) specimens in short captivity. In: Proceedings of the Meeting on the Pyrenean Desman, Lisbon. pp 33–39

  • Queiroz AI, Quaresma CM, Santos CP, Barbosa AJ, Carvalho HM (1998) Bases para a Conservação da Toupeira-de-água, Galemys pyrenaicus. Estudos de Biologia e Conservação da Natureza vol 27. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza, Lisbon

  • Richard B (1985) Étude préliminaire sur les rythmes d’activité du desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) en captivité. Mammalia 49:317–323

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Richard B (1986) Le desman des Pyrénées, un mammifère inconnu à découvrir. Le Rocher, Monaco

    Google Scholar 

  • Richard B, Michaud C (1975) Le carrefour trachéen dans l’adaptation du Desman des Pyrénées (Galemys pyrenaicus) à la vie dulçaquicole. Mammalia 39:467–477

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Richard B, Valette Viallarda A (1969) Le Desman des Pyrénées (Galemys pyrenaicus). Notes sur sa biologie Terre et Vie 23:225–245

    Google Scholar 

  • Sinclair ARE, Fryxell J, Caughley G (2006) Wildlife ecology, conservation and management, 2nd edn. Blackwell, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Stone RD (1985) Home range movements of the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) (Insectivora: Talpidae). Z Angew Zool 72:25–37

    Google Scholar 

  • Stone RD (1987a) The activity patterns of the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) (Insectivora: Talpidae), as determined under natural conditions. J Zool 213(1):95–106. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1987.tb03680.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stone RD (1987b) The social organization of the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) as revealed by radiotelemetry. J Zool 212:117–129

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stone RD, Gorman ML (1985) Social organization of the European mole (Talpa europaea) and the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus). Mammal Rev 15(1):35–42. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2907.1985.tb00385.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Surhone LM, Tennoe MT, Henssonow SF (2010) Russian desman. VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller AG & Co. Kg, Saarbrücken

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the accredited veterinary Francisco Mañas for his collaboration during the trapping campaigns. We also thank the Official Consultant from the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. The project was funded by the Departament de Medi Ambient i Habitatge and the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (programme no. BOS2003-08823-CO3-01). We thank the anonymous reviewer for the useful comments.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yolanda Melero.

Additional information

Communicated by C. Gortázar

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Melero, Y., Aymerich, P., Luque-Larena, J.J. et al. New insights into social and space use behaviour of the endangered Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus). Eur J Wildl Res 58, 185–193 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-011-0561-7

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-011-0561-7

Keywords

Navigation