Miguel Delibes

miguel2 Miguel Delibes-Mateos

Position: CSIC Researcher
Current address: Institute for Advanced Social Studies (IESA; CSIC)
E-mail:  mdelibesmateos@gmail.com
Personal Web: Entry Here

In general terms, my research is found within the discipline of Conservation Biology. It intends to integrate approaches developed by different disciplines, including natural sciences, social sciences and economic sciences, in order to fully understand the complex and conflictive relationships between biodiversity conservation and other human activities making use of natural resources. In particular, I focus my investigations on the conflicts between conservationists, farmers and hunters over species of conservation concern that have (or are perceived to have) direct or indirect negative impacts on the interests of farmers and/or hunters. In summary, my research aims to increase the understanding of conservation conflicts through a multidisciplinary framework, with the ultimate goal of searching for solutions that help to mitigate these conflicts, leading to sustainable use of natural resources.

One of my main study systems is the conflict involving conservationists, hunters and farmers in the management of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the Iberian Peninsula, where this species is simultaneously a multifunctional keystone species in the Mediterranean ecosystem, one of the main small-game species, and a pest species that createcrop damage in some instances. My research addresses these multiple roles of rabbits, with an especial emphasis on the major ecological roles played by the species. My investigations cover other similar study systems, including conflicts associated with the management of different game species (e.g. red-legged partridges, Alectoris rufa), that of some small mammal species that are regarded as harmful agricultural pests, and those caused by predators and their control.

Articles in SCI journals

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  • Díaz-Ruiz, F., Caro, J., Delibes-Mateos, M., Arroyo, B. & Ferreras, P. (2015) Drivers of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) daily activity: prey availability, human disturbance or habitat structure? Journal of Zoology, in press
  • Díaz-Ruiz, F., Zarca, J.C., Delibes-Mateos, M. & Ferreras, P. (2015) Feeding habits of black-billed magpie during the breeding season in Mediterranean Iberia: the role of birds and eggs. Bird Study in press DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1080660
  • Fernández de Simón, J., Díaz-Ruiz, F., Rodríguez de la Cruz, M., Delibes-Mateos, M., Villafuerte, R. & Ferreras, P. (2015) Can widespread generalist predators affect keystone prey? A case study with foxes and rabbits in their native range. Population Ecology, in press DOI: 10.1007/s10144-015-0510-5
  • Estrada, A., Delibes-Mateos, M., Fernández-Díaz, S., Viñuela, J., Casas, F., Caro, J. & Arroyo, B. (2015) Does small-game management benefit steppe-birds of conservation concern? A field study in central Spain. Animal Conservation, in press DOI:10.1111/acv.12211
  • Delibes-Mateos, M., Mougeot, F., Arroyo, B. & Lambin, X. (2015) Hunted predators: Charisma confounds. Science 349: 1294.
  • Ferreira, C., Castro, F., Piorno, V., Barrio, I., Delibes-Mateos, M., Rouco, C., Mínguez, L., Aparicio, F., Blanco-Aguiar, J.A., Ramírez, E., Iriarte, C., Ríos-Saldaña, C.A., Cañadilla, J., Arias de Reina, L., Ferreras, P., Alves, P.C. & Villafuerte, R. (2015) Biometrics reveal major differences between the two European rabbit subspecies. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 116: 106-116.
  • Delibes, R. & Delibes-Mateos, M. (2015) Linking historical ecology and invasion biology: some lessons from European rabbit introductions into the new world before the 19th century. Biological Invasions 17: 2505-2515.
  • Caro, J., Delibes-Mateos, M., Viñuela, J., López-Lucero, J.F. & Arroyo, B. (2015) Improving decision-making for sustainable hunting: regulatory mechanisms of hunting pressure in red-legged partridge. Sustainability Sciences 10: 479-489.
  • Caro, J., Delibes-Mateos, M., Estrada, A., Borralho, R., Gordinho, L., Reino, L., Beja, P. & Arroyo, B. (2015) Effects of hunting management on Mediterranean farmland birds. Bird Conservation International 25: 166-181.
  • Delibes-Mateos, M., Viñuela, J. & Arroyo, B. (2015) Game managers’ views on the release of farm-reared red-legged partridges in hunting estates within central Spain. Journal for Nature Conservation 26: 1-8.

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  • Caro, J., Delibes-Mateos, M., Vicente, J. & Arroyo, B. A quantitative assessment of the release of farm-reared red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) for hunting in central Spain. European Journal of Wildlife Research 60: 919-926.
  • Delibes-Mateos, M., Ferreira, C., Carro, F., Escudero, M. & Gortázar, C. (2014) Ecosystem effects of variant rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus emergence, Iberian Peninsula. Emerging Infectious Diseases 20: 2166-2168.
  • Delibes-Mateos, M., Giergiczny, M., Caro, J., Viñuela, J., Riera, P. & Arroyo, B. (2014) Does hunters’ willingness to pay match the best hunting options for biodiversity conservation? A choice experiment application for small-game hunting in Spain. Biological Conservation 177: 36-42.
  • Delibes-Mateos, M., Díaz-Ruiz, F., Caro, J. & Ferreras, P. (2014) Activity patterns of the vulnerable guiña (Leopardus guigna) and its main prey in the Valdivian rainforest of southern Chile. Mammalian Biology 79: 393-397.
  • Delibes-Mateos, M., Ferreira, C., Rouco, C., Villafuerte, R. & Barrio, I.C. (2014) Conservationists, hunters and farmers: the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus management conflict in the Iberian Peninsula. Mammal Review 40: 190-203.
  • Delibes-Mateos, M. (2014) Negative attitudes towards predators do not necessarily result in their killing. ORYX 48: 16
  • Ferreira, C., Touza, J., Rouco, C., Díaz-Ruíz, F., Fernández de Simón, J., Ríos-Saldaña, C.A., Ferreras, P., Villafuerte, R. & Delibes-Mateos, M. (2014) Habitat management as a generalized tool to boost European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) populations in the Iberian Peninsula: A cost-effectiveness analysis. Mammal Review 44: 30-43.

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    • Delibes-Mateos, M. & Delibes, A. (2013) Domestic pets becoming wildlife: free-living Vietnamese potbellied pigs in Spain. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 36: 209-215
    • Ríos-Saldaña, C.A., Delibes-Mateos, M., Castro, F., Martínez, E., Vargas, J.M., Cooke, B.D. & Villafuerte, R. (2013) Control of European rabbit in central Spain. European Journal of Wildlife Research 59: 573-580
    • Ferreira, C., Touza, J., Rouco, C., Díaz-Ruíz, F., Fernández de Simón, J., Ríos-Saldaña, C.A., Ferreras, P., Villafuerte, R. & Delibes-Mateos, M. (2013) Habitat management as a generalized tool to boost European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) populations in the Iberian Peninsula: A cost-effectiveness analysis. Mammal Review 44: 30-43
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Fernández-Díaz, S., Ferreras, P., Viñuela, J. & Arroyo, B. (2013) The role of economic and social factors driving predator control in small game estates in central Spain. Ecology and Society 38:18
    • Fischer, A., Kerezi, V., Arroyo, B., Delibes-Mateos, M., Tadie, D., Lowassa, A., Krange, O. & Skogen, K. (2013) (De)legitimising hunting – Discurses over the morality of hunting in Europe and Eastern Africa. Land Use Policy 32: 261-270.
    • Fischer, A., Sandstrom, C., Delibes-Mateos, M., Arroyo, B., Tadie, D., Randall, D., Hailu, F., Lowassa, A., Msuha, M., Kerezi, V., Linnell, J. & Majic, A. (2013) On the multifunctionality of hunting: An institutional analysis of eight cases from Europe and Africa. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 56: 531-552
    • Díaz-Ruíz, F., Delibes-Mateos, M., García-Moreno, J.L., López-Martín, J.M., Ferreira, C. & Ferreras, P. (2013) Biogeographical patterns in the diet of an opportunistic predator: the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the Iberian Peninsula. Mammal Review 43: 59-70

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    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Farfán, M.A., Olivero, J. & Vargas, J.M. (2012) Impact of land-use changes on Red-legged Partridge conservation in the Iberian Peninsula. Environmental Conservation 39: 337-346
    • Arroyo, B., Delibes-Mateos, M., Díaz-Fernández, S. & Viñuela, J. (2012) Hunting management in relation to profitability aims: red-legged partridge hunting in central Spain. European Journal of Wildlife Research 58: 847-855.
    • Blanco-Aguiar, J..A., Delibes-Mateos, M., Arroyo, B., Ferreras, P., Casas, F., Real, R. Vargas, J.M., Villafuerte, R. & Viñuela (2012) Is the interaction between rabbit haemorrhagic disease and hyperpredation by raptors a major cause of the red-legged partridge decline in Spain? European Journal of Wildlife Research 58: 433-439
    • Ferreira, C. & Delibes-Mateos, M. (2012) Conflictive management of small mammals considered as pests: a long way to evidence-based policy making. Current Zoology 58: 353-357.
    • Rouco, C., Starkloff, A., Delibes-Mateos, M., Schubert, M. & Rodel, H.G. (2012) Differentiation of animals from different age classes by means of pellet size: assessment of a field method in European rabbits. Mammalian Biology 77: 451-454
    • Delibes, M., Blázquez, M.C. & Delibes-Mateos, M. (2012) Historical books in ethology: sexual purpose used to explain two ancient documentations of infanticide by males. Ethology, Ecology and Evolution 24: 294-300
    • Millán, J., Casáis, R., Delibes-Mateos, M., Calvete, C., Rouco, C., Castro, F., Colomar, V., Casas-Díaz, E., Ramírez, E., Moreno, S., Prieto, J.M. & Villafuerte, R. (2012) Widespread exposure to Sarcoptes scabiei in wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Spain. Veterinary Parasitology 183: 323-329.

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    • Fernández de Simón, J., Díaz-Ruíz, F., Villafuerte, R., Delibes-Mateos, M., & Ferreras, P. (2011) Assessing predictors of pellet persistence in rabbits: towards reliable population estimates from pellet counts. Wildlife Biology 17: 317-325.
    • Fernández de Simón, J., Díaz-Ruíz, F., Cirilli, F., Tortosa, F.S., Villafuerte, R., Delibes-Mateos, M., & Ferreras, P. (2011) Towards a standardized index of European rabbit abundance in Iberian Mediterranean habitats. European Journal of Wildlife Research 57:1091–1100
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Smith, A.T., Slobodchikoff, C. & Swenson, J. (2011) The paradox of keystone species persecuted as pests: a call for the conservation of abundant small mammals in their native range. Biological Conservation 144: 1335-1346
    • Acevedo, P., Farfán, M.A., Márquez, A.L., Delibes-Mateos, M., Real, R. & Vargas, J.M. (2011) Past, present and future of wild ungulates in relation to changes in land use. Landscape Ecology 26: 19-31

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    • Ferreira, C. & Delibes-Mateos, M. (2010) Wild rabbit management in the Iberian Peninsula: state of the art and future perspectives for Iberian lynx conservation. Wildlife Biology in Practice 6:48-66
    • Milner-Gulland, E.J., Arroyo, B., Bellard, C., Blanchard, J., Bunnefeld, N., Delibes-Mateos, M., Edwards, C., Nuno, A., Palazy, L., Reljic, S., Riera, P. & Skrbinsek, T. (2010) New directions in management strategy evaluation through cross-fertilisation between fisheries science and terrestrial conservation. Biology Letters 6: 719-722
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Farfán, M.A., Olivero, J. & Vargas, J.M. (2010) Land-use changes as a critical factor for long-term wild rabbit conservation in the Iberian Peninsula. Environmental Conservation 37:169-176.
    • Cotilla, I., Delibes-Mateos, M., Ramírez, E., Castro, F., Cooke, B.D. & Villafuerte, R. (2010) Establishing a serological surveillance protocol for rabbit hemorrhagic disease by combining mathematical models and field data: implication for rabbit conservation. European Journal of Wildlife Research 56: 725-733
    • Calzada, J., Delibes-Mateos, M., Clavero, M. & Delibes, M. (2010) If drink coffee at the coffee-shop is the answer, what is the question? Some comments on the use of the sprainting index to monitor otters. Ecological Indicators 10:560-561

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    • Rouco, C, Delibes-Mateos, M., & Moreno, S. (2009) Evidence against the use of fecal pellet size for age determination in European wild rabbits. Acta Oecologica 35: 668-670
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Farfán, M.A., Olivero, J., Márquez, A.L & Vargas, J.M. (2009) Long-term changes in game species over a long period of transformation in the Iberian Mediterranean landscape. Environmental Management 43:1256-1268
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Rouco, C. & Villafuerte, R. (2009) Can adult and juvenile European rabbits be differentiated by their pellet sizes? Acta Oecologica 35:250-252
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Ferreras, P. & Villafuerte, R. (2009) European rabbit population trends and associated factors: a review of the situation in the Iberian Peninsula. Mammal Review 39:124-140
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Ferreras, P. & Villafuerte, R. (2009) Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) abundance and protected areas in central-southern Spain: why don’t they match? European Journal of Wildlife Research 55:65-69

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    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Delibes, M., Ferreras, P. & Villafuerte, R. (2008) Key role of European rabbits in the conservation of the Western Mediterranean Basin Hotspot. Conservation Biology 22:1106-1117
    • Geraldes, A., Carneiro, M., Delibes-Mateos, M., Villafuerte, R., Nachman, M.V. & Ferrand, N. (2008) Reduced introgression of the Y chromosome between subspecies of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the Iberian Peninsula. Molecular Ecology 17:4489-4499
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Fernández de Simón, J., Villafuerte, R. & Ferreras, P. (2008) Feeding responses of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) to different wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) densities: a regional approach. European Journal of Wildlife Research 54:71-78
    • Buenestado, F.J., Ferreras, P., Delibes-Mateos, M., Tortosa, F.S., Blanco-Aguiar, J.A. & Villafuerte, R. (2008) Habitat selection and home range size of red-legged partridges in Spain. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment 126:158-162
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Ferreras, P. & Villafuerte, R. (2008) Rabbit populations and game management: the situation after 15 years of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in central-southern Spain. Biodiversity and Conservation 17:559-574
    • Delibes-Mateos, M., Ramírez, E., Ferreras, P. & Villafuerte, R. (2008) Translocations as a risk for the conservation of European wild rabbit lineages. ORYX 42:259-264

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  • Delibes-Mateos, M., Redpath, S.E., Angulo, E., Ferreras, P. & Villafuerte, R. (2007) Rabbits as a keystone species in southern Europe. Biological Conservation 137: 149-156


    • Acevedo, P., Delibes-Mateos, M., Escudero, M.A., Vicente, J. Marco, J. & Gortazar, C. (2005) Environmental constraints in the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus Linnaeus, 1758) colonization sequence across the Iberian Mountains (Spain). Journal of Biogeography 32:1671-1680

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