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Economic consequences of red-legged partridge restocking in private hunting estates

AuthorsDíaz-Fernández, Silvia ; Arroyo, Beatriz ; Viñuela, Javier
KeywordsRed-legged partridge
Hunting management
Economic evaluation
Issue Date2012
CitationInternational Conference on Hunting for Sustainability (2012)
AbstractThe red-legged partridge (RLP) is a widely hunted game bird, with its highest densities in the Central and South part of Spain. Currently, one management practice used in many Spanish private hunting estates where RLPs are hunted is the annual release of farmreared partridges. This happens in commercial or non-commercial estates, although more intensively in the former, where it reaches extreme levels (with thousands of partridges released per km2) in so-called intensive estates. In spite of the ecological problems that the release of millions of farm-reared animals into the wild implies for the survival of wild stocks, medium term problems for both the species and its hunting due to restocking are not evident within a hunting season for an individual estate, nor mandatory to be internalized as costs. Because decisions in private estates are usually made considering the short term, we studied short term (i.e. a hunting season) economic consequences of releases in commercial private hunting estates. We interviewed a sample of 59 managers of different small red-legged partridge hunting estates, inquiring for qualitative and quantitative data on management for a specific hunting season in each estate and for prices, costs and incomes. After defining the generic mathematical calculations for each item, we took stock of 9 estates with different numbers of partridges released (3 intensive, 3 non-intensive with releases, 3 without releases). For analysis, we calculated for each estate total revenues, total expenses, profitability, expenses per partridge hunted, and revenues per partridge hunted. We found 17 expense and 5 revenue main items currently attributable to red-legged partridge management in hunting estates. These referred to releases, supplementation of water and food, predator control, staff, land price and taxes. For our sample of studied estates, in spite of the smaller commercial margins found for the 3 intensive estates, they also obtained higher profits and higher turnover. For them, the high annual expenses in operational, staff and capital costs were rewarded with the elasticity of the offer to hunting market demands, once the break even was achieved. However, given the higher ratio of expenses per partridge hunted, intensive estates would be less profitable than non-intensive ones if harvest was within the level of that found in non-intensive estates. In other words, annual harvest needs to be higher for intensive estates to be more profitable. Indeed, estimated revenues for two of these estates were negative in scenarios of low prices paid per partridge hunted. Two of the estates with no releases (that sold hunting as individual hunting days) also obtained positive revenues in scenarios of average to high prices paid per partridge hunted. Other studied estates never obtained positive revenues. We discuss the implications of these results for the partridge hunting market and the future of estates based on wild stock.
DescriptionResumen del póster presentado a la International Conference on Hunting for Sustainability: "Ecology, Economics and Society", celebrada en Ciudad Real (España) del 27 al 29 de marzo de 2012.
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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