European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 647–655 | Cite as

Origin and migration of woodcock Scolopax rusticola wintering in Spain

Original Paper


Woodcock Scolopax rusticola is an important game species in Northern Spain, where it is mainly a wintering species. Knowledge about the migration and origin of the woodcock wintering in Spain is relatively sparse, existing to date only qualitative analyses dating more than a decade. From the analyses of ringing recoveries of woodcock wintering in Spain, we evaluate the relative importance of various countries or regions as sources of the woodcock wintering in Spain, an estimate of their migratory route. Our analyses show the Circum-Baltic Region to be the most important breeding area of the woodcock wintering in Spain. Within that area, both Sweden and Western Russia appear to be particularly important. Analyses of the ringing locations of woodcock ringed during migration and recovered in Spain in winter suggest that woodcock wintering in Spain migrate primarily through the South of the Baltic Sea, Germany and France. The proportion of woodcock ringed in different French regions during the postnuptial migration months (October and November) that was subsequently recovered in Spain (mainly through hunting) declined with the proportion of those birds that was recovered in France (also mainly through hunting). We discuss the management implications of these results.


Management Migration Circum-Baltic Region Ringing Spain 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jose Luis Guzmán
    • 1
  • Yves Ferrand
    • 2
  • Beatriz Arroyo
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigación en Recursos CinegéticosIREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM)Ciudad RealSpain
  2. 2.Direction des études et de la rechercheOffice National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS)St BenoitFrance

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