Ectoparasites in woodpigeons- Gutiérrez Galán & Martínez Fernández
In this database, species composition of ectoparasites in two clearly differentiated populations of woodpigeon located in Mediterranean Spain is included. The first population is located in a strictly rural environment (forest and agricultural landscape), while the other population alternates between urban and rural areas. The rural population was established in Jaén (Southern Spain, 4°30’W 38°90’N), specifically in Lugar Nuevo, a protected forest state. The urban population was located in Alcalá de Henares (Central Spain, 3°25'W 40°26'N), and consisted of thousands of pairs that breed in parks and gardens at high densities. In total, 81 individual woodpigeons (42 in the rural population and 39 in the urban population) were collected and examined between August and September of 2013, coinciding with the legal shooting season. All birds were sprayed with anti-insect products and introduced into an airtight bag immediately after they were captured (Martín Mateo 1994). Subsequently, they were frozen and later thawed for laboratory analysis according to the post-mortem ruffling method described by Clayton and Drown (2001). In the laboratory, ectoparasites were removed from the plumage, stored in 70% ethanol, and identified. For each bird we recorded body mass, ectoparasites species present, as well as the abundance of each ectoparasite. This research aims to address the influence of urbanisation on the infestation characteristics of woodpigeon ectoparasites, comparing a rural population and an urban population. In parallel, the effect that the higher density of woodpigeons in urban areas could have on its parasitisation in contrast to lower-density forested areas is considered.