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Título

Comparison of 3 methods to estimate rabbit abundance in a Mediterranean environment

AutorPalomares, Francisco
Palabras claveabundance
Coto de Doñana
European rabbit
habitat use
line transect
Oryctolagus curilculus
pellet counts
Spain
Fecha de publicación2001
EditorWildlife Society
CitaciónWildlife Society Bulletin, 29(2):578-582 (2001)
ResumenEuropean rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are of special concern, for different reasons. They are prey of many predators in Mediterranean ecosystems, an important game species, and even a pest that causes economic losses. Hence, estimate of population abundance is a major interest for conservation management and control programs. esti­ mated abundance of European rabbits in 6 different habitats by line transect sampling, pellet count, and warren count. Rabbits were most abundant in Mediterranean scrub- land, closely followed by ash stands. Pastureland, lentiscus in plantations, and pine plan­ tations had 3, 7, and 27 times fewer rabbits than the Mediterranean scrub!and, respec­ tively. Abundance determined by peTlet counts corroborated resu’ts obtained by line transect sampling, except in the Mediterranean scrubland habitat, where number of pell­ ets was less than expected. There was a significant correlation between number of pel­ lets and rabbit density when data from the Mediterranean scrubland were replaced by data from pellet counts performed at the edge of the Mediterranean scrubland. Number (mean±SE) of warrens/100 m of transect was greatest for Mediterranean scrubland (3.5±0.5) and least for pastureland (0.6±0.2). Number of entrances/warren also differed among habitats; warrens in the pastureland had more entrances (11±1.2) than warrens in other habitats (between 5.5±0.6 and 9.0±1.2). Entrances were used more during spring (54.8%±4.3—74.6%±2.4) than during summer; the only habitat where entrances were used regularly in summer was the pastureland (54.6%±4.2 of entrances). Counting pel­ lets and warrens can provide reliable estimates of rabbit abundance
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/51227
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