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Efficiency of the call-broadcast method for detecting two Caribbean-endemic columbid game species

Abstract

The white-crowned Pigeon (WCPi), Patagioenas leucocephala, and the scaly-naped Pigeon (SNPi), P squamosa, are two Caribbean endemic species of patrimonial and cynegetic interest. Although both species are under the threat of habitat destruction and hunting pressure, population trends remain undocumented in a large part of their geographical range. Here, we used both the “auditory and visual” and “call-broadcast” census methods to assess the occurrence and relative abundance of both species in Guadeloupe (French West Indies). The call-broadcast method was found to be more efficient as it reduced the problem of “false absence” while increasing the probability of detection. Results from our surveys showed that both WCPis and SNPis were at low density and showed complete habitat segregation. SNPis were only encountered in rainforest, whereas WCPis could be observed at count stations located in dry and swamp forests, mangroves, agricultural lands and wet meadows. We recommend the use of the call-broadcast method for monitoring the two species on islands where they occur at low density, under which conditions distance sampling may be poorly reliable. The general relevance of the call-broadcast method to other species of pigeons and doves deserves further attention, especially to document population trends in elusive game species of conservation interest.

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Data availability

The datasets analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

We thank A. Levesque and J.-S. Ramdine for assistance in the field. We are particularly grateful to R. Pradel and J. Vaillant for advice on statistical analyses. We would also like to thank the Guadeloupe team from the Office Français de la Biodiversité for technical support.

Funding

This study was supported by Caribaea Initiative, the Office Français de la Biodiversité (OFB), the Fédération des chasseurs de Guadeloupe, the Direction de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement of Guadeloupe (DEAL). CC was funded by a joint doctoral grant from the Conseil Régional de la Guadeloupe and Caribaea Initiative.

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F.C., E.B. and C.C. conceived the project, design and experiments. C.C. performed the experiments. C.C. and F.C. analysed the data. F.C., E.B. and C.C. wrote and edited the paper.

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Correspondence to Christopher Cambrone.

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Cambrone, C., Bezault, E. & Cézilly, F. Efficiency of the call-broadcast method for detecting two Caribbean-endemic columbid game species. Eur J Wildl Res 67, 65 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-021-01507-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-021-01507-0

Keywords

  • Call-broadcast
  • Monitoring
  • Patagioenas leucocephala
  • Patagioenas squamosa
  • Playback
  • Point counts