Effects of hunting with hounds on a non-target species living on the edge of a protected area

Grignolio, S. and Merli, E. and Bongia, P. and et al, . (2011) Effects of hunting with hounds on a non-target species living on the edge of a protected area. Biological Conservation, 144 (1). pp. 641-649.

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The impact of hunting on wildlife is a complex phenomenon which varies in space and across time, and yet limited knowledge is available on it. This is especially the case of the indirect effects of hunting on the behaviour of target as well as non-target species. Here we analyze how hunting affected the spatial behaviour of 62 radiocollared roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in a protected area adjacent to areas where hunting with hounds (target species: wild boar and hares) and stalking with rifles from high seats without dogs (target species: roe deer) were permitted during the hunting season. Our results showed that hunting caused a significant increase in the home range size of monitored deer, as well as a “reserve effect”, whereby roe deer used the protected area as a refuge from hunters. These behavioural responses were significant only at times when hunting with hounds was conducted, even though roe deer was not the target species of this technique. Reactions to the perceived risk of predation varied among age and sex classes, with yearling being more sensitive and using the protected area more than adults. As shown in our study, hunting harassment provoked by drives with hounds significantly affects the behaviour of non-target species. Therefore, the use of long-legged hounds represents a variable that should be carefully evaluated by wildlife managers in their management plans and conservation policies, especially when endangered or vulnerable species are present.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This study was funded by Regione Toscana, Provincia di Arezzo, MIPAF, and Italian Ministry for the University and Research (PRIN 2005). We are indebted to Dr. P. Banti, Dr. G. Chianucci, Dr. P. Pedone and Dr. L. Mattioli. We also thank G. Meacci and the hunters of the association URCA. We declare that we have not any direct financial benefits that could result from the publication of this ms. The English version was reviewed and edited by Andrea Binelli and Brian Thomson. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Roe deer, Hunting techniques, Protected area, Hunting with hounds, Conservation policies, Reserve effect
Author Affiliation: Department of Zoology and Evolutionary Genetics, University of Sassari, Italy Wildlife Service,Italy
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Arbind Seth
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2013 09:37
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2013 09:37
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2010.10.022
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/10304

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