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Miguel Delibes-Mateos

Miguel Delibes-Mateos


Member type
Former Members

In general terms, my research can be placed in the discipline of Conservation Biology. Globally, my research covers the study of population dynamics and how human activities influence such dynamics. To do this, I add to the traditional ecological approach the evaluation of the economy of natural resources exploited by humans, and the social analysis of stakeholders’ perceptions and attitudes, as well as the assessment of the factors that lead their decision-making. Overall, I intend 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. I understand conservation conflicts as situations that emerge when the positions of parties representing conservation interests are threatened by the positions of those holding other views and interests. 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.


To achieve the main goals of my research line, 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 (Fig. 1). For example, many of my studies are related to 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 create crop 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), and that of some small mammal species that are regarded as harmful agricultural pests.

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