Departamental II – DII. 222
Area of Biodiversity and Conservation
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
c/ Tulipán, s/n.
E-28933 Móstoles (Madrid)

Phone: +34 91 488 8514
Fax:      +34 91 664 7490
E-mail: emilio.virgos at

Short CV

1993 – BSc Biology, Zoology (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

1999 – PhD Biology (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

2000-2003 Post-doc researcher at Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC, CSIC)

Current position

Associate professor (senior lecturer) in Ecology

Research interests
  1. Global change and mammal conservation
  2. Plant-animal interactions
  3. Trophic cascades and rewilding
  4. Mammal ecology
  5. Hunting management and conservation

Martín-Díaz, P.; Gil-Sánchez, J. M.; Ballesteros-Duperón, E.; Barea-Azcón, J. M.; Virgós, E.; Pardavila, X.; Moleón, M. (In press). Integrating space and time in predator-prey studies: The case of wildcats and rabbits in SE Spain. Mammalian Biology.

Gil-Sánchez, J. M.; Herrera-Sánchez, F. J.; Álvarez, B.; Arredondo, Á.; Bautista, J.; Cancio, I.; Castillo, S.; Díaz-Portero, M. A.; de Lucas, J.; McCain, E.; Pérez, J.; Rodríguez-Siles, J.; Sáez, J. M.; Martínez-Valderrama, J.; Valenzuela, G.; Qninba, A.; Virgós, E. (2017). Evaluating methods for surveying the Endangered Cuvier’s gazelle Gazella cuvieri in arid landscapes. Oryx 51: 648-655.

Recio, M. R.; Maloney, R. F.; Mathieu, R.; Virgós, E.; Moore, A. B.; Seddon, P. J. (2017). Optimizing control programmes by integrating data from fine-scale space use by introduced predators. Biological Invasions 19: 209-221.

Bandeira, V.; Virgós, E.; Barros, T.; Cunha, M. V.; Fonseca, C. (2016). Geographic variation and sexual dimorphism in body size of the Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon in the western limit of its European distribution. Zoologischer Anzeiger-A Journal of Comparative Zoology 264: 1-10.

Carreras-Duro, J.; Moleón, M.; Barea-Azcón, J. M.; Ballesteros-Duperón, E.; Virgós, E. (2016). Optimization of sampling effort in carnivore surveys based on signs: A regional-scale study in a Mediterranean area. Mammalian Biology-Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 81: 205-213.

Requena-Mullor, J. M.; López, E.; Castro, A. J.; Virgós, E.; Castro, H. (2016). Landscape influence on the feeding habits of European badger (Meles meles) in arid Spain. Mammal Research 61: 197-207.

Virgós, E.; Lozano, J.; Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Macdonald, D. W.; Zalewski, A.; Atienza, J. C.; Proulx, G.; Ripple, W. J.; Rosalino, L. M.; Santos-Reis, M.; Johnson, P. J.; Malo, A. F.; Baker, S. E. (2016). A poor international standard for trap selectivity threatens carnivore conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 25: 1409-1419.

Ballesteros-Duperón, E.; Virgós, E.; Moleón, M.; Barea-Azcón, J. M.; Gil-Sánchez, J. M. (2015). How accurate are coat traits for discriminating wild and hybrid forms of Felis silvestrisMammalia 79: 101-110.

Castellanos-Frías, E.; García-Perea, R.; Gisbert, J.; Bozinovic, F.; Virgós, E. (2015). Intraspecific variation in the energetics of the Cabrera vole. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 190: 32-38.

Recio, M. R.; Arija, C. M.; Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Virgós, E. (2015). Changes in Mediterranean mesocarnivore communities along urban and ex-urban gradients. Current Zoology 61: 793-801.

Escribano-Ávila, G.; Calviño-Cancela, M.; Pías, B.; Virgós, E.; Valladares, F.; Escudero, A. (2014). Diverse guilds provide complementary dispersal services in a woodland expansion process after land abandonment. Journal of Applied Ecology 51: 1701-1711. PDF

Pías, B.; Escribano-Ávila, G.; Virgós, E.; Sanz-Pérez, V.; Escudero, A.; Valladares, F. (2014). The colonization of abandoned land by Spanish juniper: Linking biotic and abiotic factors at different spatial scales.Forest Ecology and Management 329: 186-194. PDF

Recio, M. R.; Mathieu, R.; Virgós, E.; Seddon, P. J. (2014). Quantifying fine-scale resource selection by introduced feral cats to complement management decision-making in ecologically sensitive areas. Biological Invasions 16: 1915-1927.

Requena-Mullor, J. M.; López, E.; Castro, A. J.; Cabello, J.; Virgós, E.; González-Miras, E.; Castro, H. (2014). Modeling spatial distribution of European badger in arid landscapes: an ecosystem functioning approach. Landscape Ecology 29: 843-855.

Suárez-Seoane, S.; Virgós, E.; Terroba, O.; Pardavilla, X.; Barea-Azcón, J. M. (2014). Scaling of species distribution models across spatial resolutions and extents along a biogeographic gradient. The case of Iberian mole Talpa occidentalis. Ecography 37: 279-292.

de Hierro, L. G. L.; Moleón, M.; Lupiáñez, D. G.; Virgós, E.; Jiménez, R. (2013). Positive and negative unintended human-induced effects on Iberian mole abundance at the edge of its distribution area. Mammalian Biology-Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 78: 276-282.

Escribano-Ávila, G.;  Pías, B.; Sanz-Pérez, V.;  Virgós, E.; Escudero, A.; Valladares, F. (2013). Spanish juniper gain expansion opportunities by counting on a functionally diverse dispersal assemblage community.Ecology and Evolution 3: 3751-3763. PDF

Escribano-Ávila, G.; Pettorelli, N.; Virgós, E.; Lara-Romero, C.; Lozano, J.; Barja, I.; Cuadra, F. S.; Puerta, M. (2013). Testing cort-fitness and cort-adaptation hypotheses in a habitat suitability gradient for roe deer.Acta Oecologica 53: 38-48. PDF

Lozano, J.; Casanovas, J. C.; Virgós, E.; Zorrilla, J. M. (2013). The competitor release effect applied to carnivore species: how red foxes can increase in numbers when persecuted. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 36: 37-46.

Lozano, J.; Virgós, E.; Cabezas-Díaz, S. (2013). Monitoring European wildcat Felis silvestris populations using scat surveys in central Spain: are population trends related to wild rabbit dynamics or to landscape features?  Zoological Studies 52: 16.

Moleón, M.; Sánchez-Zapata, J. A.; Gil-Sánchez, J. M.; Ballesteros-Duperón, E.; Barea-Azcón, J. M.; Virgós, E. (2012). Predator-prey relationships in a Mediterranean vertebrate system: Bonelli’s eagles, rabbits and partridges. Oecologia 168: 679-689.

Lara-Romero,  C.;  Virgós, E.;  Escribano-Ávila, G.; Mangas, J. G.;  Barja,  I.;  Pardavila, X. (2012). Habitat selection by European badgers in Mediterranean semi-arid ecosystems. Journal of Arid Enviroments 76 :43-48 . PDF

Escribano-Ávila, G.; Sanz-Pérez, V.; Pías, B.; Virgós, E.; Escudero, A.; Valladares, F. (2012). Colonization of abandoned land by Juniperus thurifera is mediated by the interaction of a diverse dispersal assemblage and environmental heterogeneity. PLoS ONE 7(10): e46993. PDF

Barja, I.; Escribano-Ávila, G.;  Lara-Romero,  C.; Virgós,  E.; Benito, J.;  Rafart, E. (2012). Non-invasive monitoring of adrenocortical activity in European badgers (Meles meles) and effects of sample collection and conservation on concentrations of faecal cortisol. Animal Biology 62: 419-432. PDF

Virgós, E.; Kowalczyk, R.; Trua, A.; de Marinis, A.; Mangas, J. G.; Barea-Azcón, J. M.; Geffen, E. (2011). Body size clines in the European badger and the abundant centre hypothesis. Journal of Biogeography 38: 1546-1556. PDF

Virgós, E.; Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Mangas, J. G.; Lozano, J. (2010). Spatial distribution models in a frugivorous carnivore, the stone marten (Martes foina): is the fleshy-fruit availability a useful predictor? Animal Biology 60: 423-436. PDF

Recio, M.; Virgós, E. (2010). Predictive niche modelling to identify potential areas of conflicts between human activities and expanding predator populations: a case study of game management and the grey mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, In Spain. Wildlife Research 37: 343-354.

Barea-Azcón, J. M.; Ballesteros-Duperón, E.; Gil-Sánchez, J. M.; Virgós, E. (2010). Badger Meles meles feeding ecology in dry Mediterranean environments of the southwest edge of its distribution range. Acta Theriologica 55: 45-52.

Virgos E; Escribano G; Lara C; Barja I. (2009). Is density a good measure of habitat quality? A macrophysiological test with Eurasian badgers in Spain.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A Molecular and Integrative Physiology 153A: S62-S63. PDF

Lara C; Barja, I; Virgos E; Escribano G. (2009). Evaluating adrenal activity and effects related with the collection and conservation of faecal samples to understand the physiological stress responses of wild European badgers. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A Molecular and Integrative Physiology 153A: S63. PDF

Escribano G; Virgos E; Barja, I; Lara C. (2009). Are populations in the edge of their distribution range more stressed? A non-invasive field evaluation of stress in the European badger (Meles meles) along an environmental gradient in the Iberian Peninsula: Implications for global change. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A Molecular and Integrative Physiology 153A: S62. PDF

Blanco-Aguiar, J. A.; González-Jara, P.; Ferrero, M. E.; Sánchez-Barbudo, I.; Virgós, E.; Villafuerte, R.; Dávila, J. A. (2008). Assessment of game restocking contributions to anthropogenis hybridization: the case of the Iberian red-legged partridge. Animal Conservation 11: 535-545. – Ver corrección en Animal Conservation 12: 172 (2009).

Mangas, J. G.; Lozano, J.; Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Virgós, E. (2008). The priority value of scrubland habitats for carnivore conservation in Mediterranean ecosystems. Biodiversity and Conservation 17: 43-51. PDF

Virgós, E.; Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Lozano, J. (2007). Is the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) a threatened species in Spain? Sociological constraints in the conservation of species. Biodiversity and Conservation 16: 3489-3504. PDF

Lozano, J.; Virgós, E.; Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Mangas, J. G. (2007). Increase of large game species in Mediterranean areas: Is the European wildcat (Felis silvestris) facing a new threat? Biological Conservation 138: 321-329.

García, N.; Virgós, E. (2007). Evolution of community composition in several carnivore palaeoguilds from the European Pleistocene: the role of interspecific competition. Lethaia 40: 33-44. PDF

Caut, S.; Casanovas, J. G.; Virgós, E.; Lozano, J.; Witmer, G. W.; Courchamp, F. (2007). Rats dying for mice: modelling the competitor release effect. Austral Ecology 32: 858-868. PDF

Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Virgós, E. (2007). Adaptive and non-adaptive explanations for hatching failure in eggs of the Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa. Ardea 95: 55-63. PDF

Barea-Azcón, J. M.; Virgós, E.; Ballesteros-Duperón, E.; Monleón, M.; Chirosa, M. (2007). Surveying carnivores at large spatial scales: a comparison of four broad-applied methods. Biodiversity and Conservation16: 1213-1230.

Virgós, E.; Cabezas-Diaz, S.; Blanco-Aguiar, J. A. (2006). Evolution of life history traits in Leporidae: a test of nest predation and seasonality hypotheses. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 88: 603-610. PDF

Lozano, J.; Moleón, M.; Virgós, E. (2006). Biogeographical patterns in the diet of the wildcat, Felis silvestris Schreber, in Eurasia: factors affecting the trophic diversity. Journal of Biogeography 33: 1076-1085. PDF

Barrientos, R.; Virgós, E. (2006). Reduction of potential food interference in two sympatric carnivores by sequential use of shared resources. Acta Oecologica 30: 107-116. PDF

Virgós, E.; Travaini, A. (2005). Relationship between small-game hunting and carnivore diversity in central Spain. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 3475-3486. PDF

Virgós, E.; Mangas, J. G.; Revilla, E.; Domingo-Roura, X.  (eds.) (2005). Ecología y conservación del tejón en ecosistemas mediterráneos. SECEM.

Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Virgós, E.; Villafuerte, R. (2005). Reproductive performance changes with age and laying experience in the Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa. Ibis 147: 316-323. PDF

Blanco, J. C.; Cortés, Y.; Virgós, E. (2005). Wolf response to two kinds of barriers in an agricultural habitat in Spain. Canadian Journal of Zoology 83: 312-323. PDF

Virgós, E.; Mangas, J .G.; Blanco-Aguiar, J. A.; Garrote, G.; Almagro, N.; Viso, R. P. (2004). Food habits of European badgers (Meles meles) along an altitudinal gradient of Mediterranean environments: a field test of the earthworm specialization hypothesis. Canadian Journal of Zoology 82: 41-51. PDF

Malo, A. F.; Lozano, J.; Huertas, D. L.; Virgós, E. (2004). A change of diet from rodents to rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Is the wildcat (Felis silvestris) a specialist predator? Journal of Zoology 263: 401-407. PDF

Calvete, C.; Blanco-Aguiar, J. A.; Virgós, E.; Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Villafuerte, R. (2004). Spatial variation in helminth community structure in the red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa L.): effects of definitive host density. Parasitology 129: 101-113. PDF

Virgós, E.; Cabezas-Díaz, S.; Lozano, J.; Malo, A.; López-Huertas, D. L. (2003). Factors shaping European rabbit  (Oryctolagus cuniculus) abundance in continuous and fragmented populations of central Spain.Acta Theriologica 48: 113-122. PDF

Virgós, E. (2003). Key landscape features for polecat conservation in eastern Spain. Oryx 37: 484-487.

Lozano, J.; Virgós, E.; Malo, A.; López-Huertas, D.; Casanovas, J. G. (2003). Importance of scrub-pastureland mosaics for the occurrence of wild-living cats in the Mediterranean area: implications for the conservation of wildcat (Felis silvestris). Biodiversity and Conservation 12:  921-935. PDF

Virgós, E.; García, F. J. (2002). Patch occupancy by stone martens Martes foina in fragmented landscapes of central Spain: the role of fragment size, isolation and habitat structure. Acta Oecologica 23: 231-237. PDF

Virgós, E. (2002). Factors affecting wildboar (Sus scrofa) occurrence in highly fragmented Mediterranean landscapes. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 430-435.

Virgós, E. (2002). Are habitat generalists affected by forest fragmentation? A test with Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) in coarse-grained fragmented landscapes of central Spain. Journal of Zoology 258: 313-318. PDF

Virgós, E.; Romero, M. T.; Mangas, J. G. (2001). Factors determining ecological  edges in a small-sized carnivore, the genet (Genetta genetta), in central Spain. Canadian Journal of Zoology 79: 1544-1551.

Virgós, E. (2001). Role of isolation and habitat quality as determinants of species abundance: a test with badgers (Meles meles) in a gradient of forest fragmentation. Journal of Biogeography 28: 381-390.

Virgós, E. (2001). Relative value of riparian woodlands in landscapes with different forest cover for the conservation of medium-sized Iberian carnivores. Biodiversity and Conservation 10: 1039-1049.

Tellería, J. L.; Virgós, E.; Carbonell, R.; Pérez-Trís, J.; Santos, T. (2001). Behavioural responses to changing landscapes: flock structure and anti-predator strategies of tits wintering in fragmented forests. Oikos 95: 253-264.

Virgós, E.; Llorente, M.; Cortés, Y. (1999). Geographic variation in genet (Genetta genetta) diet: a literature review. Mammal Review 29: 119-128.

Virgós, E.; Casanovas, J. G. (1999). Environmental constraints in the distribution of a species, the Eurasian Badger (Meles meles) at the edge of its distribution range: a biogeographic approach. Journal of Biogeography 26: 559-564.

Virgós, E.; Casanovas, J. G. (1999). Badger (Meles meles) sett site selection in low density Mediterranean areas. Acta Theriologica 44: 173-182.

Santos, T.; Tellería, J. L.; Virgós, E. (1999). Dispersal of Spanish juniper (Juniperus thurifera) by birds and mammals in a fragmented landscape. Ecography 22: 193-204.

Cortés, Y.; Fernández-Salvador, R.; García, F. J.; Virgós, E.; Llorente, M. (1998). Changes in otter (Lutra lutra) distribution in central Spain during the 1964-1995 period. Biological Conservation 86: 179-183.

Tellería, J. L.; Virgós, E. (1997). Distribution of an increasing roe deer population in a fragmented Mediterranean landscape. Ecography 20: 247-252.