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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Hardouin L.A.,Emirates Center for Wildlife Propagation | Hardouin L.A.,CNRS Science Conservation Center | Hingrat Y.,Reneco for Wildlife Preservation | Nevoux M.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 3 more authors.
Animal Conservation | Year: 2015

For endangered species that are hunted, the establishment of mixed conservation areas including both hunting zones and sanctuaries to complement translocation actions (i.e. reinforcement) can improve both hunting yields and population sustainability. However, the effects of this type of management on the demography of the exploited species are not well understood. We used multi-event capture-recapture modelling in a population of captive-bred houbara bustards Chlamydotis undulata translocated into a mixed conservation area in Morocco. The specific management practice of our system (hunting regime varying in time and space) led to a quasi-experimental situation that allowed the differentiation of 'natural' from 'hunting-induced' mortality and movement between areas. The analysis uncovered strong asymmetries in both movement and survival that were not only due to direct hunting effects. Firstly, movement probabilities were higher from the sanctuary to the hunting areas than vice versa, even in years without hunting. Secondly, in addition to a direct effect of hunting on mortality in hunting areas, our results uncovered permanent differences in both areas (even outside the hunting period). Overall, our results were consistent with predictions under a source-sink dynamic model but illustrated that mixed conservation areas should not merely be treated as homogeneous systems with spatially heterogeneous hunting pressure but rather as fully heterogeneous systems. The patterns observed may be related to (1) the choice and design of hunting and sanctuary areas by managers, which might not be neutral with respect to habitat quality, or (2) indirect consequences of hunting via an effect on local growth rate and density. © 2015 The Zoological Society of London. Source

Chantepie S.,CNRS Science Conservation Center | Robert A.,CNRS Science Conservation Center | Sorci G.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Hingrat Y.,Reneco for Wildlife Preservation | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Do all traits within an organism age for the same reason? Evolutionary theories of aging share a common assumption: The strength of natural selection declines with age. A corollary is that additive genetic variance should increase with age. However, not all senescent traits display such increases suggesting that other mechanisms may be at play. Using longitudinal data collected from more than 5400 houbara bustards (Chlamydotis undulata) with an exhaustive recorded pedigree, we investigated the genetics of aging in one female reproductive trait (egg production) and three male reproductive traits (courtship display rate, ejaculate size and sperm viability), that display senescence at the phenotypic level. Animal models revealed an increase in additive genetic variance with age for courtship display rate and egg production but an unexpected absence of increased additive genetic variance for ejaculate size and no additive genetic variance for sperm viability. Our results suggest that the mechanisms behind the senescence of some traits are linked with a change in genetic expression, whereas for some other traits, aging may result from the constraints associated with physiological wear and tear on the organism throughout the life of the individual. © 2015 Chantepie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Azar J.F.,Reneco for Wildlife Preservation | Rautureau P.,National Avian Research Center | Lawrence M.,National Avian Research Center | Calabuig G.,Reneco for Wildlife Preservation | Hingrat Y.,Reneco for Wildlife Preservation
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2016

Increasing knowledge of post-release survival and habitat requirements of translocated animals is critical to improve success of conservation programs. We estimated survival of reintroduced captive-bred Asian houbara bustards (Chlamydotis macqueenii) in reserves of western United Arab Emirates where plantations exist as supplementary feeding sites. We explored factors influencing short- (3 months after release) and long-term (tri-monthly periods after third month of release) survival rates of released birds. We modeled life histories of individually tracked houbara using Program MARK. Mean short-term survival probability (0.76 ± 0.14 SD) was lower than mean long-term survival (0.86 ± 0.03 SD), and observed group size and the age of released birds positively correlated with short-term survival. We hypothesize that higher quality habitat (plantations) affected survival; larger groups occurred in plantations and older birds might be better able to maintain access to plantations. Long-term survival was negatively influenced by subsequent release events. Releasing more individuals increases local houbara density. This may lead to food depletion, increase in density-dependent mechanisms between individuals, or both. Short- and long-term survival rates suggest that food availability at the release sites, together with intraspecific interactions, may influence survival of newly released and established individuals. To improve the management of translocated animals, the impact of managed food resources should be quantified to assess how it might affect population vital rates. © 2016 The Wildlife Society. © The Wildlife Society, 2016 Source

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