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Gamebird hunting and biodiversity conservation: synthesis, recommendations and future research priorities

AuthorsViñuela, Javier ; Arroyo, Beatriz
KeywordsGamebird hunting
Raptor-prey relationships
Raptor conservation
Human-wildlife conflicts
Issue DateJul-2002
PublisherCSIC-UCLM - Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC)
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Great Britain)
CitationREGHAB Project. Report on Workpackage 6
AbstractIn many European regions, gamebird hunting is an important socio-economic activity in rural areas, involving millions of people, euros and hectares. Gamebird management has historically been performed in many areas, and hunting may thus be potentially beneficial to biodiversity, by promoting conservation and management of habitats within a strategy of “conservation through wise use of natural resources”.
However, in some cases there is a conflict between hunting and the conservation of biodiversity. This conflict appears when hunting is non-sustainable and intensive and, particularly, when predators are subjected to illegal or uncontrolled killing with the purpose of maximising game numbers. Predators (including raptors) are perceived within a large part of the hunting sector as an important limiting factor for small game populations, and thus as an enemy of hunters. In some cases, this perception has lead to illegal control of protected species. As a result of such illegal activities, the protectionist movement sometimes perceives hunting as a detrimental activity for conservation. Now, many of the hunters, researchers and protectionists involved in these issues are keen to resolve this conflict, with the view that the efficacy of biodiversity conservation measures can only be sustainable with the consensus of both hunters and protectionists.
The REGHAB project arose within this context, and it was conceived as a forum where different stakeholders could gather to analyse and discuss the problem and its possible solutions. The project aimed to set up the basis for improving communication between opposing social sectors (hunters and nature conservation movements), to provide an updated, integrated picture of the state of the art to be used by key stakeholders, and to identify research priorities to obtain key information for a possible future resolution of the conflict. The project aimed thus to take the first step towards reaching long-term, sustainable solutions to reconcile gamebird hunting and biodiversity conservation across Europe.
The project involved members of the scientific community from five different countries (France, Spain, Portugal, UK and Finland), and also representatives of Spanish hunting organisations, and of small and medium-sized enterprises (ERENA, Portugal; and APROCA-CLM, Spain). Other stakeholders (other hunting representatives, conservation NGOs and government agencies) were invited to participate in the workshops organised throughout the project, in an attempt to compile contrasting information, and discuss the polarised views of the problem.
Description19 pages.-- REGHAB Project: Report on Workpackage 6 – Deliverables no 21 and 23.
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Informes y documentos de trabajo
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