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Effects of hunting management on Mediterranean farmland birds

AutorCaro, Jesús ; Delibes-Mateos, Miguel ; Estrada, Alba ; Borralho, Rui; Gordinho, Luís; Reino, Luis; Beja, Pedro; Arroyo, Beatriz
Palabras claveHunting
Farmland birds
Fecha de publicación2-jul-2015
EditorCambridge University Press
CitaciónBird Conservation International 25(2): 166-181 (2015)
ResumenHunting and its associated management have significant costs and benefits for biodiversity conservation,which makes this socio-economic activity highly controversial at both international and regional levels. We investigated relationships between management for small game species (mainly Red-legged Partridges Alectoris rufa and rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus ) and both abundance and richness of farmland and scrubland songbirds, raptors and ground-nesting birds, and on the abundance of three species of conservation concern (Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax , Eurasian Thick-knee Burhinus oedicnemus and Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus ) in southern Portugal farmland. We compared 12 game estates and 12 matching areas with similar sizes and land uses but no game management. Richness and abundance were estimated from fixed point counts, and were related to game regime (managed or unmanaged), habitat characteristics and census period. Our results showed that game management was associated, albeit weakly, with higher abundance of raptors and ground-nesting birds, but no relationship (either positive or negative) was found for other guilds and species. Habitat was generally the most important factor explaining bird species richness and abundance. Our results suggest possibilities for promoting management systems that could maximize both hunting sustainability and conservation value of managed areas, particularly when management helps to improve or maintain beneficial habitats or practices for farmland birds.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0959270914000197
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