European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 199–204 | Cite as

Sanitary risks of red-legged partridge releases: introduction of parasites

  • Diego Villanúa
  • Lorenzo Pérez-Rodríguez
  • Fabián Casas
  • Vanesa Alzaga
  • Pelayo Acevedo
  • Javier Viñuela
  • Christian Gortázar
Original Paper

Abstract

We studied the helminth community and body condition of 99 hunter-harvested red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) from Ciudad Real (Central Spain). Forty-six were sampled in two game estates where an important number of farm-reared red-legged partridges are released yearly. The remaining 53 were obtained from natural wild populations adjacent to one of the estates with releases. Four nematode species (Heterakis gallinarum, Aonchoteca caudinflata, Eucoleus contortus and Cheilospirura gruveli) and two cestode species (Raillietina (R.) tetragona and Skryabinia bolivari) were identified. The managed areas showed higher parasite diversity, with higher prevalences and intensities for all helminths found. Three of these species were typical of farm-bred partridges and two of these, A. caundinflata and S. bolivari, were found parasitizing adult partridges. This suggests introduction of these helminths into the breeding population of managed states. The birds sampled in the nonmanaged estates showed a better body condition, but no relation with parasite infection was found. Our results suggest that the release of farm-reared red-legged partridges, a strategy that is becoming a common practice in Spanish hunting areas, poses risk to wild populations because of introducing parasites. However, these results also suggest that simply stopping releases may be a good way to remove locally those parasites from populations, as the establishment of the introduced parasites seems limited.

Keywords

Alectoris rufa Condition Helminths Restocking Spain 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank S. J. Luna, E. Biescas, M.P. Martín, and E. Chico for their assistance in the field and P. Talavera for help in the laboratory. This is a contribution to the joint project CSIC/Principado de Asturias and to CYCIT projects MCYT-REN200307851/GLO and CGL2004-02568/BOS. Lorenzo Pérez-Rodríguez had a FPU grant from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia and Fabián Casas from Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Villanúa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lorenzo Pérez-Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Fabián Casas
    • 1
  • Vanesa Alzaga
    • 1
  • Pelayo Acevedo
    • 1
  • Javier Viñuela
    • 1
  • Christian Gortázar
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos, IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM)Ciudad RealSpain
  2. 2.Gestión Ambiental Viveros y Repoblaciones de NavarraPamplonaSpain

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