João Paula

Fauna & Flora Ecologist

João Paula has developed his passion about biology since the early years, when he watched “El Hombre y la Tierra”  by Félix Rodriguez de la Fuente in the Spanish television (TVE). He always participated in actions developed by the technicians of the Malcata Natural Reserve in his town, Sabugal. When he has 10 years old (1994) he camped during one week in the middle of the Malcata Natural Reserve where a group of biologists and other conservation professionals put him in contact with conservation actions, fauna and flora monitoring methodologies, identification, etc. Since then he realized that biology had to be his career. So he graduated in biology and started working as a biologist. João  has more than 12 years of professional experience as a biologist/technician. His professional expertise focus in the ecological section of the environmental impact assessment process and implementing ecological monitoring programs to evaluate the real impacts and the effectiveness of mitigation measures implemented, covering pre-construction, construction and exploration phases of the project.  

He was professionally certified by the Special Unit of the Portuguese Public Police (K9 unit of UEP-PSP) to train detection dogs applied to ecological studies, namely to detect bird and bat carcasses. During his professional career he has trained 2 dogs and has been working with them to monitor mortality in wind farms and power lines. 

His passion for work and pleasure for disclosing his knowledge during his career has resulted in the production of technical and scientific reports concerning the themes described above.  He has his work published in peer-reviewed papers and has presented oral presentations and posters at technical and scientific conferences in Europe, Africa, United States and Argentina.


Main working areas or relevant skills: Ecological Impact Assessment Specialist; field detection and identification of inland mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds (direct and indirect methods); Training of detection dogs; Writing of technical reports and papers; Field data analysis; Use of GIS in ecological studies; Mapping of Habitats (Habitats Directive of Natura 2000 Network); Field detection and identification of shrubs and trees of the Iberian Flora.

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Relevant Publications

Paula, J., Leal, M. C., Silva, M. J., Mascarenhas, R., Costa, H. & Mascarenhas, M. (2011).  Dogs as a tool to improve bird-strike mortality estimates at wind farms. Journal for  Nature Conservation, doi:10.1016/j.jnc.2011.01.002.

Paula, J., Mesquita, S., Mascarenhas, M. & Costa, H. (2012). SEA of a Road Network Plan: effects on wolf populations. In Proceedings da 32ª Conferência Anual da Associação Internacional para a Avaliação de Impacte. 27 de maio a 1 de junho de 2012. Porto, Portugal.

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