Málaga, Spain
Málaga, Spain

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Vargas J.M.,University of Malaga | Duarte J.,University of Malaga | Farfan M.A.,Biogea Consultores | Villafuerte R.,Institute Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2012

The red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) is abundant in a number of regions in Spain and one of the most commonly hunted small game species in the country. Partridge hunting generates substantial income in rural areas where agriculture is less profitable. A traditional hunting method, reclamo hunting, is currently under revision by the European Commission's (EC) Birds Directive because hunting may fall within the reproduction period of the species. So far, only limited data on the reproductive phenology of the species exist to inform a policy change. In this study, we present reproduction data for red-legged partridges from 9 hunting estates in Andalusia during 1 year, and over 3 consecutive seasons from a control estate. We used direct nest and partridge chick covey observations to estimate 165 egg-laying dates. We found significant differences between sites related to altitude during reproduction periods. Using our pooled data, we showed that reproduction occurred between the last 10 days in January and the middle of February; beyond 31 January we observed an exponential increase in birds reproduction. According to these data and current EC legislation, reclamo hunting should not extend beyond 31 January. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.


Vega M.G.,Technical University of Madrid | Carpinetti B.,National University of Misiones | Duarte J.,Biogea Consultores | Duarte J.,University of Malaga | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

Across West and Central Africa, wildlife provides a source of food and income. We investigated the relation between bushmeat hunting and household wealth and protein consumption in 2 rural communities in Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. One village was dedicated to commercial hunting, the other trapped game primarily for food. We tested whether commercial-hunter households were nutritionally advantaged over subsistence-hunter households due to their higher income from the bushmeat trade and greater access to wild-animal protein. We conducted bushmeat-offtake surveys in both villages (captures by hunters and carcasses arriving to each village). Mammals (including threatened primates: black colobus [Colobus satanas], Preussi's guenon [Allochrocebus preussi], and russet-eared guenon [Cercopithecus erythrotis]), birds, and reptiles were hunted. The blue duiker (Philantomba monticola), giant pouched rat (Cricetomys emini), and brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) contributed almost all the animal biomass hunted, consumed, or sold in both villages. Monkeys and Ogilbyi's duikers (Cephalophus ogilbyi) were hunted only by commercial hunters. Commercial hunters generated a mean of US$2000/year from bushmeat sales. Households with commercial hunters were on average wealthier, generated more income, spent more money on nonessential goods, and bought more products they did not grow. By contrast, households with subsistence hunters spent less on market items, spent more on essential products, and grew more of their own food. Despite these differences, average consumption of vegetable protein and domestic meat and bushmeat protein did not differ between villages. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the socioeconomic and nutritional context of commercial and subsistence bushmeat hunting to correctly interpret ways of reducing their effects on threatened species and to enable the sustainable offtake of more productive taxa. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.


Farfan M.A.,Biogea Consultores | Farfan M.A.,University of Malaga | Duarte J.,Biogea Consultores | Duarte J.,University of Malaga | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2012

Land conversion in Mediterranean Europe has substantially altered the biotic interactions and patterns of resource availability in many ecosystems with serious environmental consequences on some species. Habitat changes are thought to be the main cause of the decline in numbers of European hares, Lepus europaeus, throughout Europe. In contrast, the Iberian hare L.granatensis, in Spain has significantly increased in numbers since the early 1990s. We aimed to investigate changes in habitat favourability of the Iberian hare within municipalities in southern Spain from 1960s to the 1990s. We use predictive distribution models to assess the relationship between the species' distribution, based on hunting yields, and environmental variables by municipality. Our results show that Iberian hare habitat requirements have changed significantly in recent decades from a highly significant association with natural vegetation in the 1960s, to one with cultivated lands in the 1990s. We argue that this shift in habitat may have enabled the Iberian hare to increase in numbers. Habitat heterogeneity at the municipality scale may have benefited Iberian hares, especially within olive groves. Unlike the European hare, which has suffered the conversion from natural vegetation to highly homogeneous, intensively managed landscapes, the Iberian hare in Andalusia has benefited from dry wood crops and irrigated herbaceous crops. These anthropogenic habitats provide year-round cover and food. However, schemes that target the regeneration of heterogeneity in a variety of landscapes in Andalusia should be encouraged. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Zoology © 2011 The Zoological Society of London.


Duarte J.,Biogea Consultores | Duarte J.,University of Malaga | Farfan M.A.,Biogea Consultores | Farfan M.A.,University of Malaga | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Pest Management | Year: 2011

We tested the effectiveness of wires in preventing house martins (Delichon urbica) from constructing nests on buildings. Their nests were removed after each of two breeding seasons, wires were installed, and nest relocation was monitored during the following breeding season. Deterrents were considered as successful if the nests were displaced to new sites and as a failure if the nests were relocated in their original places, even if these were constructed on the wires. In the control, martins relocated 89.3% of their nests within the same location rather than in new locations. In the treatment there was a 45% decrease in colony size, a failure rate of 77.7% and a displacement rate of 22.2% in the first year. During the second year, there was an 82.5% increase in colony size, a 45.5% failure rate and a 54.5% displacement rate. The wires did not have a significant effect on displacements during the first year but did have such an effect during the second year. We conclude that wires are not an effective method for preventing house martins from nesting. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.


Duarte J.,Biogea Consultores | Duarte J.,University of Malaga | Farfan M.A.,Biogea Consultores | Farfan M.A.,University of Malaga | Vargas J.M.,University of Malaga
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2011

We tested the success, dispersal, and home range of 20 radio-tagged farm-reared red-legged partridges that were released into typical Mediterranean scrubland on a coastal mountain in southern Spain. Partridges were kept in two acclimatization pens separated by 1 km for 4 weeks. Mortality was 25% during the first 10 days, 51.9% at the end of the second month, and stopped by the 14th week after release. The overall survival rate was 20.6%. Mean dispersal distance was 832 m; home range (MPC 95%), 16.6 ha; and activity centers (Kernel 60%), 15.1 ha. Two released females paired with wild males and one of them successfully nested. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Farfan M.A.,Biogea Consultores | Farfan M.A.,University of Malaga | Duarte J.,Biogea Consultores | Duarte J.,University of Malaga | And 2 more authors.
Vie et Milieu | Year: 2011

The proliferation of infrastructure projects, such as highways, railways and canals, is having an unavoidable impact on local fauna (habitat destruction and fragmentation, the barrier effect or mortality by collision). The infrastructure construction period itself also has a great impact on fauna. The breeding period of species is threatened and eggs, the young and adults may undergo disruption. European governments have developed much environmental legislation to minimize the impact of infrastructure projects on the natural world. However, many initiatives to protect environmental wealth are ineffective due to the lack of scientific advice. A clear example is the case of the common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon Linnaeus, 1758) in Spain. We compare the efficiency of the capture methodology used for the common chameleon, as recommended by the Spanish government, to that of an alternative method. Both methods differ in sampling effort, speed of advance and sampling-hours. According to our results, the most appropriate method to search for the common chameleon is at night while employing a slow speed of advance, thus validating the alternative method. This is the most effective approach: it yields more captures than other methods and the search period does not have to last for many consecutive hours. If the methodology described in the present study were implemented, it would provide better results regarding captures and have a more positive effect on the conservation of this species in Europe.


Acevedo P.,University of Malaga | Farfan M.A.,Biogea Consultores | Marquez A.L.,University of Malaga | Delibes-Mateos M.,Institute Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos | And 2 more authors.
Landscape Ecology | Year: 2011

In recent decades, Mediterranean landscapes have been experiencing more rapid changes in land use than usual, which have affected the ecology of the species inhabiting this biodiversity hotspot. Some studies have assessed the effect of such changes on biodiversity, but most of these were diachronic studies of population dynamics, or synchronic studies of species habitat selection, whereas few studies have simultaneously taken into account temporal changes in habitat composition and changes in species distribution. This study analysed the effects of land-use changes on the distribution of wild ungulates (Capreolus capreolus, Capra pyrenaica, Cervus elaphus and Sus scrofa). Using favourability function and Markov chain analysis combined with cellular automata, we addressed the following objectives: (i) to examine the environmental determinants of ungulate distribution in the past (1960s) and present (1990s), (ii) to model land use for 2040 to forecast future species distributions and (iii) to assess the biogeographical differences between the above-mentioned study periods (past-present and present-future). Species favourability was predicted to be more widely distributed in the present than in the past, but this increase varied across species. Areas predicted to be favourable in the present should remain stable in the future, but in addition there will be more new favourable areas not previously occupied by these species. The results are discussed from the perspective of the socio-economic relevance of wild ungulates in relation to some unfavourable areas of Mediterranean regions. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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