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Social and Economic Aspects of Red-Legged Partridge Hunting and Management in Spain

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The Future of the Red-legged Partridge

Part of the book series: Wildlife Research Monographs ((WIREMO,volume 6))

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Abstract

This chapter reviews information regarding partridge hunting and its management in Spain, focusing on the economic consequences of different management styles, and on how hunters and game managers perceive such management systems. The Red-legged Partridge is one of the most important gamebirds in Spain and it is considered an iconic game species. The most widespread method for hunting partridges is walked-up shooting, but driven shooting and hunting with decoys in late winter are also important in certain areas. Spanish private hunting estates can be differentiated in two types depending on their socio-economic goals: non-commercial estates and commercial estates. Management in commercial estates is generally more intensive. This is especially evident for predator control and the release of farm-reared red-legged partridges, which has increased in recent decades. There is a widespread belief among hunters that the large number of predator species present in Spain poses a problem, and thus they consider that predator control is an essential and positive management tool. Criticisms of releases are in contrast relatively frequent among Spanish partridge hunters, although the economic benefits of releasing partridges are widely acknowledged. The latter are however only evident in the case of large-scale releases (in intensive estates), which allow offering a much larger frequency of driven-shooting days. Over-exploitation is not usually viewed among the main factors causing partridge declines, but hunters acknowledge that some harvest regulation is needed to maintain wild populations and thus hunting viable. However, decision-making about partridge hunting pressure in hunting estates is based, in many cases, on qualitative information about abundance. Sustainability of partridge hunting could thus be improved if more effort was made to improve the reliability of abundance information, and to assess the most efficient, as well as acceptable, mechanisms to regulate annual take in different contexts.

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Arroyo, B., Caro, J., Delibes-Mateos, M. (2022). Social and Economic Aspects of Red-Legged Partridge Hunting and Management in Spain. In: Casas, F., García, J.T. (eds) The Future of the Red-legged Partridge. Wildlife Research Monographs, vol 6. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-96341-5_11

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