Where is the pulse to have the finger on? A retrospective analysis of two decades of Alpine Galliforms (Aves: Galliformes) census and game bag data in Italy

  • Alessio Martinoli
  • Damiano G. Preatoni
  • Francesco Bisi
  • Alessandra Gagliardi
  • Adriano Martinoli
Original Article

Abstract

Information on the abundance of the Italian populations of black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix), Alpine rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta helvetica) and Alpine rock partridge (Alectoris graeca saxatilis) rely only on extrapolations of local data to the national scale, since there is no national standardized survey. Consequently, their status is virtually unknown. We performed a first-ever assessment of a medium-term (1996–2014) population trend of these species using and comparing post-breeding count and bag data at hunting district scale. These data were collected from various authorities in charge of wildlife management and allowed us to test the influence of hunting policies on the estimated trends. Rock partridge showed a stable trend with numbers fluctuating between years, while there was evidence of a severe decline for rock ptarmigan. No general conclusion could be drawn for the black grouse, as we detected lack of consistency of count and bag data. Counts were greatly overdispersed as a result of an uneven count effort among hunting districts. Adding the game management authority as model covariate resulted in more robust trend estimations, suggesting a significant effect of different policies that emerged also as similar hunting pressure across species within authorities. Hunting effort variation over the time was instead negligible. Species-specific game management bias is discussed. Our results highlight the need for a survey scheme or guidelines to be applied uniformly at a national scale.

Keywords

Alps Grouse Status Italy Hunting bags Game management 

Supplementary material

10344_2017_1122_MOESM1_ESM.doc (270 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 270 kb)

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Theoretical and Applied SciencesUniversity of InsubriaVareseItaly
  2. 2.Istituto OikosMilanItaly

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