Study Area

Our study area is located in the “Sobarriba” (42° N, 5° W), a rural area in North-Western Spain, about 15 km away from León. It comprises 45 Km2 of lands surrounding 7 villages (Villaseca, Villacil, Villavente, Villalboñe, Solanilla, Carbajosa, Villafeliz) under the administration of Valdefresno, a community of about 2000 inhabitants.

The study area, situated about 850 meters above sea level, represents traditional Spanish low intensity agricultural landscape, with a mosaic of crops, meadows, poplar and pine plantations, scrubs, oak forest patches and uncultivated land. The climate is continental, with dry and hot summers and cold winters. Precipitations occur mainly in spring and autumn.

Apart from cooperative carrion crows, numerous bird species can be observed in La Sobarriba. Among them, red-legged partridges, white storks, stone curlews, several raptors (kestrel, hobby, sparrow hawk, hen harrier, Montagu’s harrier, buzzard, black and red kite, booted eagle) and many more. Among mammals, wolves, foxes, badgers, roe deers, hares, rabbits, weasels, genets, and wild boars can be spotted.