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A quantitative assessment of the release of farm reared red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) for shooting in central Spain

AuthorsCaro, Jesús ; Delibes-Mateos, Miguel ; Vicente, Joaquín ; Arroyo, Beatriz
KeywordsGame management
Iberian Peninsula
Small game species
Issue DateDec-2014
CitationEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research 60(6): 919-926 (2014)
AbstractThe release of farm-reared game is considered a conflictive management tool because of its potential harmful ecological effects on wildlife and associated habitats. Estimates of the number of animals released and the area where this game management takes place could give an idea of the magnitude of their potential impacts. We aimed to quantitatively assess the release of farm-reared red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) in the province of Ciudad Real, central Spain, one of the main hunting areas in this country. We analysed the official permits that the regional government granted to the hunting estates to release farm-reared partridges between 2006 and 2012. Our results show that an average of 800,000 partridges were released annually in the study area. A decrease in the number of hunting estates that used this game management practice, as well as in the number of red-legged partridges officially released, was observed during the last years within the study period. This might be a consequence of the current economic crisis, rather than a change in management styles. Release intensity was spatially heterogeneous, being higher in the southeast of the study area, where historically red-legged partridge was more abundant. Most of the red-legged partridges released came from only four farms placed in northern Spain. Our results suggest that this management activity should be better monitored and that spatial regulations should also be considered.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10344-014-0861-9
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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