The Institute for Game and Wildlife Research (IREC) was created on February 24, 1999 through a specific agreement between the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) and the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha (JCCM). It is, therefore, a Mixed Institute of shared ownership between these three institutions, which are represented in its governing bodies through the Governing Commission, which duties include that of supporting the IREC before other Institutions and Entities, in order to achieve what is necessary for the best functioning and promotion of the Institute.
The IREC is the first Spanish scientific center dedicated to the investigation of various aspects related to hunting, understood as a renewable natural resource.
From its creation in 1999 until June 2002, the IREC headquarters were provisionally located in a place belonging to the University, on Calle Libertad in Ciudad Real. Currently, the IREC has its own headquarters on the Ciudad Real University Campus, in a modern building built by the CSIC, next to the Rectorate and the Auditorium Luis Arroyo [see plan]. This building has a wide range of offices, laboratories, library and other facilities dedicated to the research, education and disseminationof scientific knowledge about game species and wildlife.
The directors of the IREC
- 1999-2000 –Sacramento Moreno Garrido. There is not enough critical mass for the presence of a Deputy Director
- 2000-2003 – Rafael Villafuerte Fernandez. During his tenure, the inauguration of the current building on the Ciudad Real University Campus took place. The management team is expanded with the inclusion of a Vice-director.
- 2003-2004 – Julián Garde López-Brea (Acting Director). During his mandate, a sufficient critical mass of staff was reached, which allowed the creation of the Institute's own Collegiate Bodies: Board and Scientific Committees.
- 2004-2008 – Christian Gortázar Schmidt. First Director proposed by the IREC Scientific Committe. During his tenure, the figure of Secretary of the Institute was created (position established by the UCLM).
- 2008-2010 – Javier Viñuela Madera.
- 2010-2011 – Rafael Mateo Soria. (Acting Director).
- 2011-2015 – Jorge Cassinello Roldán. During his tenure, the management team was expanded from one to two Vice Directors.
- 2015-2023 – Rafael Mateo Soria.
- 2023-Present – Beatriz Arroyo López.