European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 239–248 | Cite as

Experimental evaluation of live cage-traps for black-billed magpies Pica pica management in Spain

  • Francisco Díaz-Ruiz
  • Jesús T. García
  • Lorenzo Pérez-Rodríguez
  • Pablo Ferreras
Original Paper

Abstract

Black-billed magpies (Pica pica) are considered as a nest predator of game and non-game birds in Europe. In rural areas of Spain magpie control is commonly used as a management tool in small game hunting estates. Cage-traps with a magpie as a decoy are the legal method most commonly used for controlling magpies in Spain although its performance has not yet been experimentally tested. We evaluated the selectivity, efficiency, and the effect of different factors on capture rate of these traps for magpie control and determine the effect of magpie removal on magpie density. Only four out of 197 captures corresponded to non-target species, which were released unharmed. Since the release of non-target captures depends on the daily checking of the trap and the trapper commitment, in order to guarantee the efficiency and selectivity of this method traps should be revised daily by full time, qualified trappers. The efficiency of this method is high during the breeding season, reducing magpie density in the area where the control is performed. Highest capture rates were obtained in the first days after cage-traps setting. Neither the gender nor the origin (local or foreign) of the decoy significantly affected the capture rate. Among male decoys, experimentally increased testosterone levels did not increase capture rates. According to our results, the tested cage-traps with a living decoy could be employed as an efficient and selective method for magpie population management in Spain, when used by full time, qualified trappers.

Keywords

Cage-traps Capture rate Black-billed magpie Selectivity Predator management 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was funded by Consejería de Medio Ambiente of Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha (project PREG-05-23). Patrick Fasolo kindly provided the first magpie decoys to start the trapping experiments, and shared with us his long experience with the use of the traps. Land owners and game owners of both study areas facilitated the access to estates and facilitated the field tests. Salvador Luna performed most of the field work. Luis Enrique Mínguez kindly assisted in the field work and solved most bureaucracy during the project development. Beatriz Arroyo provided helpful support with the statistical analyses.

All the experiments comply with the current Spanish laws, and were performed with the corresponding legal authorizations and following current guidelines for animal welfare.

References

  1. Akaike H (1973) Information theory and an extension of the maximum likelihood principle. In: Petrov BN, Csaki F (eds) 2nd international symposium on information theory. Akademiai Kiado, Budapest, pp 267–281Google Scholar
  2. Baeyens G (1981) The role of the sexes in territory defence in the Magpie (Pica pica). Ardea 69:69–82Google Scholar
  3. Baker PJ, Harris S (2006) Does culling reduce fox (Vulpes vulpes) density in commercial forests in Wales, UK. Eur J Wildl Res 52:99–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beja P, Gordinho L, Reino L, Loureiro F, Santos-Reis M, Borralho R (2009) Predator abundance in relation to small game management in southern Portugal: conservation implications. Eur J Wildl Res 55:227–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernabeu RL (2000) Evaluación económica de la caza en Castilla-La Mancha. Ph.D. thesis, University of Castilla-La ManchaGoogle Scholar
  6. Birkhead TR (1991) The Magpies. The ecology and behaviour of black-billed and yellow-billed Magpies. T & A D Poyser, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Blanco-Aguiar JA, García FJ, Ferreras P, Viñuela J, Villafuerte R (2001) Effect of game management on artificial nest predation in central Spain. 25th International Union of Game Biologists (IUGB) and the 9th International Symposium on Perdix. Limasol, ChipreGoogle Scholar
  8. Blas J, Perez-Rodriguez L, Bortolotti GR, Vinuela J, Marchant TA (2006) Testosterone increases bioavailability of carotenoids: insights into the honesty of sexual signalling. Proc Nat Acad Sci U S A 103:18633–18637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boza MD (2002) El trampeo y demás artes de caza tradicionales en la Península Ibérica. Editorial Hispano Europea S.A, BarcelonaGoogle Scholar
  10. Burnham KP, Anderson RR (1998) Model selection and inference: a practical information-theoretic approach. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Burnham KP, Anderson RR, Laake JL (1980) Estimation of density from line transect sampling of biological populations. Wildl Monogr 72:1–202Google Scholar
  12. Chiron F, Julliard R (2007) Responses of songbirds to magpie reduction in an urban habitat. J Wildl Manage 71(8):2624–2631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Close B, Banister K, Baumans V, Bernoth EM, Bromage N, Bunyan J, Erhardt W, Flecknell P, Gregory N, Hackbarth H, Morton D, Warwick C (1997) Recommendations for euthanasia of experimental animals: part 2. DGXT of the European Commission. Lab Anim 31:1–32CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Delibes-Mateos M (2006) Relaciones entre los cambios poblacionales del conejo, la gestión cinegética, el hábitat y los depredadores: implicaciones para la conservación. Ph.D. thesis, University of Castilla La ManchaGoogle Scholar
  15. Duarte J, Vargas JM (2001) ¿Son selectivos los controles de predadores en los cotos de caza? Galemys 13:1–9Google Scholar
  16. Eden SF (1989) The social organisation of non-breeding magpies Pica pica. Ibis 131:141–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ferreras P, Villafuerte R, Mateo A (2006) Incidencia de la depredación sobre nidos de perdiz roja (Alectoris rufa) en Navarra. Unpublished Final Report. Departamento de Medio Ambiente, Ordenación del Territorio y Vivienda del Gobierno de Navarra and IREC-CSICGoogle Scholar
  18. Fridolfsson AK, Ellegren H (1999) A simple and universal method for molecular sexing of non-ratite birds. J Avian Biol 30:116–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gooch S, Baillie SR, Birkhead TR (1991) Magpie Pica pica and songbirds populations. Restrospective investigation of trends in population density and breeding success. J Appl Ecol 28(3):1068–1086CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hernandez M, Margalida A (2009) Poison-related mortality effects in the endangered Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) population in Spain. Eur J Wildl Res. doi:10.1007/s10344-009-0255-6 Published onlineGoogle Scholar
  21. Herranz J (2000) Efectos de la depredación y del control de predadores sobre la caza menor en Castilla-La Mancha. Ph.D. thesis, Autónoma University. MadridGoogle Scholar
  22. Högstedt G (1980) Prediction and test of the effects of interspecific competition. Nature 283:64–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. International Organization for Standardization (1999) TC191. Animal (mammal) traps. Part 5: methods for testing restraining traps. International Standard ISO/DIS 10990–5. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  24. Mañosa S (1994) Goshawk diet in a Mediterranean area of northeastern Spain. J Raptor Res 28:84–92Google Scholar
  25. Martínez JG, Soler M, Soler JJ, Paracuellos M, Sánchez J (1992) Alimentación de los pollos de urraca (Pica pica) en relación con la edad y disponibilidad de presas. Ardeola 39:35–48Google Scholar
  26. Martínez de Castilla A, Martínez A (2004) ¿Es beneficioso controlar las urracas? Trofeo. December 2004:58–62Google Scholar
  27. Newson NE, Evans KL, Noble DG, Greenwood JJD, Gaston KJ (2008) Use of distance sampling to improve estimates of national population sizes for common and widespread breeding birds in the UK. J Appl Ecol 45:1330–1338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Otero C (1995) Control de depredadores en la gestión integrada de un territorio. In: Predación, caza y vida silvestre. Fundación “La Caixa”/Aedos, Barcelona, pp 151–180Google Scholar
  29. Palomo LJ, Gisbert, J, Blanco JC (2007) Atlas y libro rojo de los mamíferos terrestres de España. SECEM-Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales, Ministerio de Medio AmbienteGoogle Scholar
  30. Potts GR (1980) The effects of modern agriculture, nest predation and game management on the population ecology of partridges (Perdix perdix and Alectoris rufa). Adv Ecol Res 11:2–79Google Scholar
  31. SEO/BIRDLIFE (2002) Tendencias de las poblaciones de aves comunes en España (1996–2001). Programa SACRE. Informe 2001. SEO/BirdLife, MadridGoogle Scholar
  32. Sillero-Zubiri C, Laurenson MK (2001) Interactions between carnivores and local communities: conflict or coexistence? In: Gittleman J, Funk K, MacDonald D, Wayne R (eds) Carnivore conservation, conservation biology series 5. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 282–312Google Scholar
  33. Soler M, Martínez JG, Soler JJ (1996) Effects of brood parasitism by the Great Spotted Cuckoo on the breeding success of the Magpie host: an experimental study. Ardeola 43:87–96Google Scholar
  34. Thirgood SJ, Redpath SM, Newton I, Hudson P (2000) Raptors and red grouse: conservation conflicts and management solutions. Conserv Biol 14:95–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Thomson DL, Green RE, Gregory RD, Baillie SR (1998) The widespread declines of songbirds in rural Britain do not correlate with the spread of their avian predators. Proc R Soc Lond B 265:2057–2062CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vargas JM (2002) Alerta cinegética. Reflexiones sobre el futuro de la caza en España. Otero Ediciones, MadridGoogle Scholar
  37. Villafuerte R, Viñuela J, Blanco JC (1998) Extensive predator persecution caused by population crash in a game species: the case of red kites and rabbits in Spain. Biol Conserv 84:181–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang XH, Trost CH (2000) Trapping territorial black-billed Magpies. J Field Ornithol 71:730–735Google Scholar
  39. Wingfield JC, Ball GF, Dufty AM, Hegner RE, Ramenofsky M (1987) Testosterone and aggression in birds. Am Sci 75:602–608Google Scholar
  40. Yanes M, Herranz J, De la Puente J, Suárez F (1998) La perdiz roja. Identidad de los depredadores e intensidad de la depredación. In: I Curso. La perdiz roja. FEDENCA, Alcobendas, Madrid, pp 135–147Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Díaz-Ruiz
    • 1
  • Jesús T. García
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Pérez-Rodríguez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pablo Ferreras
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos, IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM)Ciudad RealSpain
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

Personalised recommendations