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Title

Estimating roe deer abundance from pellet group counts in Spain: An assessment of methods suitable for Mediterranean woodlands

AuthorsAcevedo, Pelayo ; Jaroso, Raquel ; Durán-Martínez, Mauricio ; Escudero, Marco A.; Gortázar, Christian
KeywordsUngulates
Faeces counts
Deer management
Roe deer
Population abundance
Mediterranean woodland
Issue Date2010
PublisherElsevier
CitationEcological Indicators 10(6): 1226-1230 (2010)
AbstractDespite of the generalized expansion of wild ungulates in Europe, roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is experiencing contrasted population trends; it is expanding in some regions while declining in others likely due to the expansion of other deer species. In both extremes, reliable methods to estimate population abundance are required. We evaluated different methods of estimating deer abundance in Mediterranean woodlands based on pellet group counts. Distance Sampling applied to pellet counts and a new easier and cost-effective method based on strip-variable transect counts (FST) were assessed comparing their estimates (pellet group density) with the abundance indices obtained from traditionally used reference methods (faecal standing crop) in 61 localities (n = 183 surveys). The average roe deer density estimated from faecal standing crop was 5.56 ± 0.75 (range 0.01-20.74) deer per 100 ha. Distance Sampling and FST estimates correlated with reference methods. As a first conclusion it may be noted that all indirect methods used here can be used to estimate roe deer abundance. The selection of a given method based on pellet counts to estimate roe deer population abundance should take into account the specific objectives of the research, resources available, and the timescale in which the information is required. Among them, Distance Sampling may be used when human resources and skills are enough but FST is a rapid and efficient alternative to estimate pellet group density when they are not.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/144183
DOI10.1016/j.ecolind.2010.04.006
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2010.04.006
issn: 1470-160X
e-issn: 1872-7034
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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