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Luís Manuel Abecasis Palma

Luís Manuel Abecasis Palma

Auxiliary Researcher

Details
Position
Auxiliary Researcher
Member type
Researchers
Degree
PhD
Address
CIBIO, Campus de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas. 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
Groups

My professional career began by the first field study on the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Portugal, and followed with studies on diurnal forest birds of prey, which became the main focus of my subsequent research. This included the ecology and demography of the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) breeding population and a long-term multidisciplinary study of the tree-nesting Bonelli’s eagle (Aquila fasciata) of Southern Portugal. I’ve also been following the return of the Iberian Imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) in Portugal, decades after its extinction, witnessed by me in the 1970-80s.  

I also engaged in the conservation of endangered species and habitats, having contributed to the creation of some protected areas, namely the Serra da Malcata NR, the Costa Vicentina NP and several N2000 classified areas. I also led two plurennial conservation projects: a LIFE Nature conservation project of the tree-nesting Bonelli’s eagle in southern Portugal and the reintroduction of the Osprey in the country. 

One of my major current interests is the unravelling of large-scale demographic and evolutionary processes within distinct taxonomic groups, e.g. the evolutionary history of the Palearctic buzzards (Buteo spp.), the worldwide phylogeography of frigatebirds (Fregata spp.) and the colonisation of the Atlantic (Macaronesian) archipelagos by the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), a species which I’ve also monitored throughout continental Portugal. 

In Cabo Verde, I’ve worked in the study and conservation of some raptor species, namely its resident osprey population, with a first national survey in 1999 and a recent status update, and lately the critically endangered Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus). In Guinea-Bissau, I worked as an IUCN Technical Assistant in 2002, and collaborated in 2013 in an assessment of the ecological and socio-economic impact of the expansion of cashew-nut production, a major environmental problem in the country. 

My present work is focused on afrotropical biodiversity surveys in poorly known areas, especially Guinea-Bissau, where I aim to stimulate the existing partnership between CIBIO and the IBAP (Institute of Biodiversity and Protected Areas), and links to other local entities in conducting biodiversity research and conservation assessments. I’m currently leading a study on the local Forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclopis) population, while preparing surveys of other iconic large-bodied mammals and collaborating in several activities related to biodiversity. 


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