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Assessing the effectiveness of a hunting moratorium on target and non-target species

AuthorsMartínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Viedma, Covadonga; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Bartolomé, Miguel Angel; Jiménez Pérez, Juan; Genovart, Meritxell CSIC ORCID ; Tenan, Simone
KeywordsCommon coots
Crested coot
Hunting moratorium
Management effectiveness
Southern Europe
Survival probability
Issue Date29-Jun-2013
CitationBiological Conservation 165: 171-178 (2013)
AbstractInformation on the effectiveness of wildlife management actions is scarce, despite the great relevance of this type of information for maximizing conservation goals while minimizing resource expenditure. Here we assess the management effectiveness of a four-year hunting moratorium, addressed to protecting a declining waterbird game species: common coot Fulica atra. We also studied the indirect benefits that this management action could have had on a non-target endangered species (crested coot Fulica cristata), currently being reintroduced in the study region (Comunidad Valenciana, eastern Spain). We found that wintering common coots interrupted their marked negative trend coinciding with the hunting moratorium, and Before-After-Control-Impact modelling confirmed this fact. However breeding common coots continued their negative trend in numbers. We also found that crested coots increased their wintering numbers during the hunting moratorium years but not during breeding. We detected a strong and time variant cost of release on survival probability of crested coots, but annual survival probability was found to be constant and low for experienced birds, with no clear effects of the hunting moratorium on survival probability. We conclude that the moratorium had some positive effect on both species, but we suggest that lack of enforcement during a traditional hunting practice at the end of each hunting season, most likely precluded the moratorium having a long-lasting effect on the breeding numbers and probably on survival, of both species. Hence, when fully-enforced hunting moratoria are difficult to implement, we recommend the creation of hunting preserves of high habitat quality to attract coots during the winter, allowing its subsequent reproduction during the breeding season. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Publisher version (URL)
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.06.009
issn: 0006-3207
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos

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