Mougeot, Francois

Mougeot, Francois

My work focuses on evaluating the biological consequences of environmental changes in wild animals. My research has an interdisciplinary focus, including studies in eco-physiology, parasitology, population ecology, conservation, genetics, and behavioral ecology.

At the individual level, I study the factors (food resources, pollutants, hormones, stressors) that limit health status (diseases, parasites, immune responses, stress), reproduction (investment in sexual signals, reproductive success), and survival. . At the population level, I try to understand the spatial and temporal variations in animal abundance. Many factors, such as resources, predators, pathogens, and human activities influence population dynamics. My research tries to determine the relative importance of these factors.

I am interested in understanding how environmental variability affects fitness, and ultimately demographics and population dynamics. I consider both natural environmental variability (host-parasite or prey-predator interactions) and that due to human activities (agriculture, changes in land use, hunting, pollution).

My research is based on studies in natural conditions and on experiments at the level of individuals and populations, and has both a basic and an applied component. Ultimately, I intend to contribute to developing scientific bases that help the conservation of species, the development of strategies for the sustainable use of natural resources, and the resolution of conflicts between human activities and biodiversity conservation.

These general objectives can be specified with the following examples or case studies:

  • Relative importance of extrinsic (trophic interactions) and intrinsic (behavior) factors in the regulation of populations (studies on ptarmigan, peasant vole and raptors);
  • Effects of agriculture, hunting and pollutants on physiology, behaviour, reproduction and population dynamics of agricultural birds;
  • Ecology, management and conservation of the red partridge and other steppe birds (sandgrouse, ortega, sison...);
  • Factors that explain the geographic expansion and plagues of voles in NW Spain where they are associated with damage to crops and outbreaks of tularemia in humans. It is about looking for improvements in pest prediction and management tools in order to minimize the effects on public health and conflicts between agriculture and biodiversity conservation.
  • Characterization of the ecological cycle and epidemiology of a (re-)emerging zoonosis: tularemia in NW Spain.

I am the author of 158 publications, of which 120 are articles in SCI journals (such as Nature, Science, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Ecology Letters, Conservation Letters, Environmental Sciences and Technology, Molecular Ecology, Proceedings-B, American Naturalist, Journal of Animal Ecology, Functional Ecology, Plos One, Biology Letters…), with an H index of 30 (scopus, Sept. 2016).


  • Mougeot F, Lendvai A, Martinez-Padilla J, Perez-Rodriguez L, Giraudeau M, Casas F, Moore IT, Redpath S (2016) Parasites and mate attractiveness influence female feather corticosterone levels in a socially monogamous bird. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 70: 277-283. doi: 10.1007/s00265-015-2048-0
  • Vallverdu-Coll N, , Mougeot F, Ortiz-Santaliestra M, Rodriguez-Estival J, Lopez-Antia A, Mateo R (2016) Lead exposure reduces carotenoid-based coloration and constitutive immunity in wild mallards. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 35: 1516–1525. doi: 10.1002/etc.3301
  • Casas F, Arroyo B, Viñuela J, Guzmán JL, Mougeot F (2016) Are farm-reared red-legged partridge releases increasing hunting pressure on wild partridge breeding stocks? European Journal of Wildlife Research 62: 79-84. doi: 10.1007/s10344-015-0975-8
  • Perez-Rodriguez L, Garcia de Blas E, Martinez-Padilla J, Mougeot F, Mateo R (2016) Carotenoid profile and vitamins in the combs of the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus: implications for the honesty of a sexual signal. Journal of Ornithology 157: 145-153. doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1261-y
  • Bertolero A, Rivaes S. Mougeot F, Sánchez I, Andree KB, Ibáñez C (2016) Sexing and aging purple swamphen Porphyrio p. porphyrio from plumage and biometry. Ardeola 63:261-277. doi: 13157/arla.63.2.2016.ra3
  • Rodriguez-Pastor R, Luque-Larena JJ, Lambin X, Mougeot F (2016) “Living on the edge”: the role of field margins for common vole (Microtus arvalis) populations in recently colonized Mediterranean farmland. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 231: 206-217. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2016.06.041
  • Garcia-Heras MS, Arroyo BE, Mougeot F, Amar A, Simmons RE (2016) Does timing of breeding matter less where the grass is greener? Seasonal declines in breeding performance differ between regions in an endangered endemic raptor. Nature Conservation online open doi: 10.3897/natureconservation.15.9800.
  • Benitez-Lopez A, Garcia JT, Mougeot F, Viñuela J (2016) A multi-scale approach for identifying conservation needs of two threatened sympatric steppe birds. Biodiversity and Conservation in press doi: 10.1007/s10531-016-1222-7
  • Casas F, Benitez-Lopez A, Tarjuelo R, Barja I, Viñuela J, Garcia JT, Morales MB, Mougeot F (2016) Changes in behavior and faecal glucocorticoid levels in response to increased human activities during weekends in the pin-tailed sandgrouse. Science of Nature in press doi: 10.1007/s00114-016-1416-6
  • Vallverdu-Coll N, Mougeot F, Ortiz-Santaliestra ME, Castaño C, Santiago-Moreno J, Mateo R. (2016) Effects of lead exposure on sperm quality and reproductive success in an avian model. Environmental Science and Technology in press


  • Casas F, Benítez-López A, García JT, Martín CA, Viñuela J, Mougeot F (2015) Assessing the short-term effects of capturing, handling and tagging of sandgrouse. Ibis. 157: 115-124. doi: 10.1111/ibi.12222
  • Lopez-Antia A, Ortiz-Santaliestra M, Mougeot F, Mateo R (2015) Imidacloprid-treated seed ingestion has lethal effect on adult partridges and reduces both breeding investment and offspring immunity. Environmental Research 136: 97 107. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.10.023
  • Cardador L, De Cáceres M, Giralt D, Boot G, Aquilué N, Arroyo B, Mougeot F, Cantero-Martínez C, Viladomiu L, Rossell J, Casas F, Estrada A, Álvaro-Fuentes J, Brotons L (2015) Tools for informing land use planning in agricultural systems: exploring habitat suitability for steppe birds under land-use change scenarios . Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environments 200: 119-125. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2014.11.013
  • Liminana R, Arroyo BE, Terraube J, McGrady M, Mougeot F (2015) Using satellite telemetry and environmental niche modeling to inform conservation targets for a long-distance migratory raptor in its wintering grounds. Oryx 49:329-337. doi: 10.1017/S0030605313001075
  • Pérez-Rodríguez L, Romero-Haro AA, Sternalski A, Muriel J, Mougeot F, Gil D, Alonso-Alvarez C (2015) Measuring oxidative stress: the confounding effect of lipid concentration in measures of lipid peroxidation. Physiological & Biochemical Zoology 88:345-351. doi: 10.1086/680688
  • Tarjuelo R, Barja I, Morales MB, Traba J, Benitez-Lopez A, Casas F, Arroyo B, Delgado P, Mougeot F (2015) Effects of human activity on physiological and behavioral responses of an endangered steppe bird. Behavioral Ecology 26: 828–838. doi:10.1093/beheco/arv016
  • Vallverdu-Coll N, Ortiz-Santaliestra M, Mougeot F, Vidal D, Mateo R (2015) Sublethal Pb exposure produces season-dependent effects on immune response, oxidative balance and investment in carotenoid-based coloration in red-legged partridges. Environmental Sciences & Technology 49:3839–3850. doi: 10.1021/es505148d
  • Lopez-Antia A, Ortiz-Santaliestra M, Garcia-de-Blas E, Camarero PR, Mougeot F, Mateo R (2015) Adverse effects of thiram treated seed ingestion on the reproductive performance and the offspring immune function of the red-legged partridge. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 34: 1320-1329. doi: 10.1002/etc.2925
  • Jareño D, Viñuela J, Luque-Larena JJ, Arroyo L, Arroyo B, Mougeot F (2015) Factors associated with the colonization of agricultural areas by common voles Microtus arvalis in NW Spain. Biological Invasions 17: 2315-2327 doi: 10.1007/s10530-015-0877-4
  • Benitez-Lopez A, Casas F, Mougeot F, García JT, Martín CA, Tatin L, Wolff A, Viñuela J (2015) Individual traits and extrinsic factors influence survival of the threatened pin-tailed sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata) in Europe. Biological Conservation 187: 192–200 doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.04.019
  • Luque-Larena JJ, Mougeot F, Vidal Roig D, Lambin X, Rodríguez-Pastor R, Rodríguez E, Anda P, Escudero R (2015) Tularemia outbreaks and common vole (Microtus arvalis) irruptive population dynamics in North-western Spain, 1997-2014. Vector-Borne & Zoonotic Diseases 15:568-570. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2015.1770
  • Delibes-Mateos M. Mougeot F, Arroyo B, Lambin X (2015) Hunted predators: charisma confounds. Science 349: 1294. doi: 10.1126/science.349.6254.1294-a
  • Lopez-Antia A, Ortiz-Santaliestra M, Waiter PR, Mougeot F, Mateo R (2015) Assessing the risk of fipronil coated seed ingestion and associated adverse effects in the red-legged partridge. Environmental Sciences and Technology 49: 13649?13657. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03822
  • Cardador L, Brotons L, Mougeot F, Giralt D, Bota G, Arroyo B (2015) Conservation traps and long-term species persistence in human-dominated systems. Conservation Letters 8:456-462. doi: 10.1111/conl.12160


  • Jareño D, Viñuela J, Luque-Larena JJ, Arroyo L, Arroyo B, Mougeot F (2014) A comparison of methods for estimating common vole (Microtus arvalis) abundance in agricultural habitats. Ecological Indicators 36: 111-119. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2013.07.019
  • Martinez-Padilla J, Redpath S, Zeineddine M, Mougeot F (2014) Insights into population ecology from long-term studies of red grouse. Lagopus lagopus scoticus. Journal of Animal Ecology 83:95-98. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12098
  • Mougeot F, Benitez-Lopez A, Casas F, Garcia JT, Viñuela J (2014). A temperature-based monitoring of nest attendance patterns and disturbance effects during incubation by ground-nesting sandgrouse. Journal of Arid Environments 102: 89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2013.11.010
  • Irvine J, Moseley M, Leckie F, Martinez-Padilla J, Donley D, Miller A, Pound M, Mougeot F (2014). Investigating the loss of recruitment potential in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus): the relative importance of hen mortality, food supply, tick infestation and louping-ill. European Journal of Wildlife Research 60: 313-322. doi: 10.1007/s10344-013-0788-6
  • Martinez-Padilla J, Perez-Rodriguez L, Mougeot F, Ludwig S, Redpath SM (2014) Experimentally elevated levels of testosterone at independence reduces fitness in a territorial bird. Ecology 95:1033-1044. doi: 10.1890/12-1905.1
  • Cardador L, Caceres M, Boot G, Giralt D, Casas F, Arroyo B, Mougeot F, Cantero C, Moncunill J, Butler S, Brotons L. (2014) A mechanistic modeling framework to assess the degree of habitat suitability for steppe-land birds in semiarid Mediterranean agricultural systems. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92790. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092790
  • Martinez-Padilla J, Perez-Rodriguez L, Mougeot F, Ludwig S, Redpath SM (2014) Intra-sexual competition alters the relationship between testosterone and ornament expression in wild birds. Hormones and Behavior 65:435-444. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.03.012


  • Lopez-Antia A, Ortiz-Santaliestra M, Mougeot F, Mateo R (2013) Experimental exposure of red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) to seeds coated with imidacloprid, thiram and difenoconazole. Ecotoxicology 22: 125-138. doi: 10.1007/s10646-012-1009-x
  • Wenzel MA, Webster LMI, Paterson S, Mougeot F, Martinez-Padilla J, Piertney SB (2013) A transcriptomic investigation of handicap models in sexual selection. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 67: 221-234. doi: 10.1007/s00265-012-1442-0
  • Perez-Rodriguez L, Jovani R. Mougeot F (2013) Fractal geometry of a complex plumage trait reveals bird's quality. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 280 (1755). doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.2783
  • Paz A, Jareño D, Arroyo L, Viñuela J, Arroyo BE, Mougeot F, Luque-Larena JJ, Fargallo JA (2013) Avian predators as a biological control system of common vole (Microtus arvalis) populations in NW Spain: experimental set-up and preliminary results. Pest Management Science 69:444-450. doi: 10.1002/ps.3289
  • F houses, Mougeot F, Ferrero E, Sánchez-Barbudo I, Dávila JA, Viñuela J (2013) Phenotypic differences in body size, body condition and circulating carotenoids between hybrid and «pure» red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) in the wild. Journal of Ornithology 154: 803-811. doi: 10.1007/s10336-013-0947-2
  • Mougeot F, Gerrard J, Dzus E, Arroyo BE, Dzus C, Gerrard N, Bortolotti GR (2013) Population trends and reproduction of bald eagles at Besnard lake, Saskatchewan, Canada 1968-2012. Journal of Raptor Research 47:96-107. [special issue dedicated to Gary Bortolotti] doi: 10.3356/JRR-12-45.1
  • B.E. Creek, Mougeot F, Bretagnolle V (2013) Characteristics and functions of aerial displays in a semi-colonial raptor, the Montagu's harrier circus pygargus. Journal of Raptor Research 47:185-196. [special issue dedicated to Gary Bortolotti] doi: 10.3356/JRR-12-44.1
  • Martinez-Padilla J. Mougeot F, Garcia JT, Arroyo BE, Bortolotti GR (2013) Feather corticosterone and carotenoid-based coloration in raptor nestlings. Journal of Raptor Research 47:161-173. [special issue dedicated to Gary Bortolotti] doi: 10.3356/JRR-12-41.1
  • Luque-Larena JJ, Mougeot F, Viñuela J, Jareño D, Arroyo L, Lambin X, Arroyo BE (2013) Large-scale range expansion and outbreaks of common vole (Microtus arvalis) in agricultural plains of NW Spain. Basic and Applied Ecology 14:432-441. doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2013.04.006
  • Jovani R, Perez-Rodriguez L, Mougeot F (2013) Fractal geometry for animal biometrics: a response to Kühl & Burghart. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 28:499-500. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2013.06.004


  • Sternalski A. Mougeot F, Bretagnolle V (2012) Carotenoid limitation and allocation priorities in asynchronous nestling raptors. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 105:13-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2011.01773.x
  • Terraube J. Mougeot F, Cornulier T, Verma A, Gavrilov A, Arroyo BE (2012) Broad wintering range and intercontinental migratory divide within a core population of the near threatened pallid harrier. Diversity & Distributions 18:401-409. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00830.x
  • Sternalski A. Mougeot F, Bretagnolle V (2012) Adaptive significance of permanent female mimicry in a bird of prey. BiologyLetters 8:167-170. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0914
  • Vergara P, Martinez-Padilla J, Mougeot F, Leckie F, Redpath S (2012) Environmental heterogeneity influences the reliability of secondary sexual traits as condition indicators. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25:20-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02399.x
  • Mougeot F, Galvan I, Alonso-Alvarez C (2012) Contrasted effects of oxidative stress and ?-melanocyte stimulating hormone on cellular immune responsiveness: an experiment with red-legged partridges Alectoris rufa. Oecology 169: 385-394. doi: 10.1007/s00442-011-2220-9
  • F houses, Mougeot F, Sánchez-Barbudo I, Dávila JA, Viñuela J (2012) Fitness consequences of anthropogenic hybridization in wild red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa, Phasianidae) populations. Biological Invasions 14: 295-305. doi: 10.1007/s10530-011-0062-3
  • Vergara P. Mougeot F, Martinez-Padilla J, Leckie F, Redpath S (2012) The condition-dependence of a secondary sexual trait is stronger under high parasite infection level. Behavioral Ecology 23:502-511. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arr216
  • Martinez-Padilla J, Vergara P, Mougeot F, Redpath S (2012) Parasitized mates increase infection risk for partners. The American Naturalist 179:811-820. doi: 10.1086/665664
  • Alonso-Alvarez C, Perez-Rodriguez L, Ferrero E, Garcia de Blas E, Casas F, Mougeot F (2012) Adjustment of female breeding investment according to male carotenoid-based ornamentation in a Gallinacean bird. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 66:731-742. doi: 10.1007/s00265-012-1321-8
  • Terraube J, Arroyo B, Bragin A, Bragin E, Mougeot F (2012) Ecological factors influencing the breeding distribution and success of a nomadic, specialist predator. Biodiversity & Conservation 21: 1835-1852. doi: 10.1007/s10531-012-0282-6
  • Sternalski A. Mougeot F, Perez-Rodriguez L, Bretagnolle V (2012) Carotenoid limitation, integumentary coloration and immune responsiveness in the nestlings of a sexually dimorphic bird of prey. Physiological & Biochemical Zoology 85:364-375. doi: 10.1086/665981
  • Vergara P, Martinez-Padilla J, Redpath S, Mougeot F (2012) Environmental conditions influence red grouse ornamentation at a population level. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107:788-798. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01974.x
  • Sternalski A, Bretagnolle V, Mougeot F (2012) Phenotypic variation in nestlings of a bird of prey under contrasted breeding and diet conditions. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107: 799–812. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01981.x
Francois Mougeot IREC


Group:Scientific faculty
PositionSenior Scientist - CSIC
ORCID ID:0000-0002-5819-6275
Researcher ID: