Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Carlos Rouco

Carlos Rouco
Position: Research Associate
Team: Wildlife Ecology & Management
Location: Dunedin
Private Bag 1930
Dunedin 9054

Research Interests

Research Interests

Research Interests


I consider myself a Wildlife Ecologist with broad research interests in ecology and wildlife management of small and medium size mammal populations. During my PhD I studied the ecology, epidemiology and management of wild rabbit populations. Much of my research has focused on the improvement of habitat management measures for conservation of wild rabbits as a key prey for extremely endangered species such as the Iberian lynx and the Iberian imperial eagle. My current research focuses on the ecology and tuberculosis epidemiology of the introduced brushtail possum in dryland areas and native forest in New Zealand. This includes population density estimates, animal movement, spatial ecology and habitat selection analyses, interaction between invasive species and the mechanisms for transmission of tuberculosis in the wild. I have experience in carrying out fieldwork in isolated and remote areas, in coordinating teams of 4 to 6 people and I have supervised several students, including a PhD student. I have sought my own research funding, managed grants, published 27 manuscripts and have communicated my research results to both specialised and wide audiences.

Selected Publications


Rouco, C., Santoro, S., Delibes-Mateos, M., Villafuerte, R. (2015). Optimising of pellets counts for estimating wild rabbit abundance in extensive breeding enclosures. Target journal: Ecological Indicators (ISSN: 1470-160X) (Submitted).

Rouco, C., Richardson, K.S., Tompkins, D. (2015). Improving animal welfare standards while reducing disease exposure risk during euthanasia of trapped brushtail possums. Animal Welfare 24: 235-239. (ISSN: 0962-7286).

Ferreira, C., Castro, F., Piorno, V., Barrio, I., Delibes-Mateos, M., Rouco, C., Mínguez, L.E., Aparicio, F., Blanco-Aguiar, J.A., Ramírez, E., Iriarte, C., Ríos-Saldaña C.A., Cañadilla, J., Arias de Reyna, L., Ferreras, P., Alves, P.C., Villafuerte, R. (2015). Biometric differences stand out between European rabbit subspecies in their native range Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (Accepted). (ISSN: 1095-8312).

Yockney, I.J., Latham, M.C., Rouco, C., Cross, M.L., Nugent, G. (2015). Quantifying short-term foraging movements in a marsupial pest to aid targeted lethal control and disease surveillance. PLosOne. 10(3): e0121865. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121865 (ISSN: 1932-6203).

Rouco, C., Norbury, G. (2015). Short-term influence of snow covers on movements and habitat use by brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). New Zealand Journal of Ecology 39(2):0-0. (ISSN: 0110-6465).

Blasco-Costa,I, Rouco, C., Poulin, R. (2015). Biogeography of parasitism in freshwater fish: spatial patterns in hot spots of infection. Ecography 37: 1-10. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.01020 ISSN: 1600-0587).


Dellafiore, C. M., Rouco, C., Muñóz Vallés, S., Gallego Fernández, J. B. (2014). Seasonal habitat use by the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in a coastal dune system in SW Spain. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 37.2. (ISSN: 1578-665 X).

Rouco, C., Norbury, G., Ramsay D (2014). Kill rates by rabbit hunters before and 16 years after introduction of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in the southern South Island, New Zealand. Wildlife Research, 41: 136–140. DOI: 10.1071/WR13223 (ISSN: 1035-3712).

Whitford, J., Rouco, C., Tompkins, D.M., Nugent, G. (2014). First direct estimate of the detection probability of TB in possums by possums. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 60: 827–830. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-014-0834-z (ISSN: 1439-0574)

Santoro, S., Pacios, I., Moreno, S., Bertó-Moran, A. Rouco, C. (2014). Multi-event capture-recapture modeling of host-pathogen dynamics among European rabbit populations exposed to myxoma and rabbit hemorrhagic disease viruses: common and heterogeneous patterns. Veterinary Research 45: 39. DOI:10.1186/1297-9716-45-39 (ISSN: 1297-9716).

Delibes-Mateos, M., Ferreira, C., Rouco, C., Villafuerte, R., Catalán, I.B. (2014). Conservationists, hunters and farmers: the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus management conflict in the Iberian Peninsula. Mammal Review 44(3-4): 190-203. DOI: 10.1111/mam.12022 (ISSN: 0305-1838).

Ferreira, C., Villafuerte, R., Villar, N., Castro, F., Ferreras, P., Rouco, C., Alves, P.C., Redpath, S. (2014). Experimental study of the role of cover and vaccination on the fitness of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Population Ecology 56(1): 195-202. DOI 10.1007/s10144-013-0403-4 (ISSN: 1438-3896).

Ferreira, C., Delibes-Mateos, M., Rouco, C., Díaz-Ruiz, F., Fernández-de-Simón, J., Rios, C., . Ferreras, P., Villafuerte, R. (2014). Habitat management as a tool to boost wild rabbit populations in the Iberian Peninsula: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Mammal Review 44(1): 30-43. DOI: 10.1111/mam.12006 (ISSN: 0305-1838).

D’Amico, M.; Rouco, C., Russell; J.C., Román, J., Revilla, E. (2013). Invaders on the road: synanthropic bird foraging along highways. Oecologia Australis 17(1): 86-95. DOI: (ISSN: 2177-6199)


Moreno, S., Rouco, C. (2013). Responses of small mammal communities to traditional habitat management in a protected Mediterranean area. Acta Oecologica 49: 1-4. DOI: (ISSN: 1146-609X).

Rouco, C., Norbury, G. (2013). An introduced species helping another: dispersal of a rose seed infesting wasp by a marsupial in New Zealand. Biological Invasions 15(8): 1649-1652. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-013-0415-1 (ISSN: 1387-3547).

Rouco, C., Norbury, G., Smith, J., Byrom, A., Pech, R. (2013). Population density estimates of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in dry grassland in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 37 (1): 12-17. (ISSN: 0110-6465).

Bertó-Moran, A., Pacios, I., Serrano, A., Moreno, S., Rouco, C. (2013). Coccidian and helminth infections influence the sero-conversion against myxoma and rabbit haemorrhagic disease viruses in European wild rabbit. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 49(1): 10-17. DOI: 10.7589/2011-12-343 (ISSN: 0090-3558).



  • Castilla La Mancha
    PhD Ecology & Wildlife Mgmt
  • Seville
    BSc (Hons)