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Does small-game management benefit steppe birds of conservation concern? A field study in central Spain

AutorEstrada, Alba ; Delibes-Mateos, Miguel ; Caro, Jesús ; Viñuela, Javier ; Díaz-Fernández, Silvia ; Casas, Fabián; Arroyo, Beatriz
Palabras claveBustards
Game management
Predator control
Red-legged partridge
Small game
Steppe birds
Suplementary feeding
Fecha de publicación26-may-2015
EditorZoological Society of London
John Wiley & Sons
CitaciónAnimal Conservation 18(6): 567-575 (2015)
ResumenIn Europe, hunting and game management are centuries-old activities that have had profound effects on the landscapes and the biodiversity they support. Game management is a potentially important tool to enhance game populations and may also affect other wildlife. We investigated the relationship between redlegged partridge Alectoris rufa game management and steppe-bird abundance in central Spain. We surveyed 54 red-legged partridge hunting estates with varying game-management intensity in spring and/or summer in 2006 and 2008–2010. Information about game management was gathered through questionnaires to game managers. Birds were counted from fixed points and the amount of different land uses in each point was visually estimated. Our results show that the abundance of granivorous species (sandgrouse) increased significantly with the density of feeders, whereas non-granivorous species were more abundant in estates with more intensive fox control, although the latter relationship was weaker. Land-use variables, specifically agricultural lands, appeared in the models of all the groups considered. Therefore, there is an option for designing optimal management for red-legged partridge estates that potentially benefits non-target species: an effective combination of habitat management, adequate use of supplementary food and water, and possibly selective legal predator control when necessary and effective for the target game species, although the latter needs further investigation.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acv.12211
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