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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Predator abundance in relation to small game management in southern Portugal: conservation implications

Published source details

Beja P., Gordinho L., Reino L., Loureiro F., Santos-Reis M. & Borralho R. (2009) Predator abundance in relation to small game management in southern Portugal: conservation implications. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 55, 227–238

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Remove or control predators Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, paired sites study in 2000–2001 of 24 games estates and hunting areas in Alentejo, Portugal (Beja et al. 2009) found that controlling predators resulted in greater numbers of European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus and Iberian hares Lepus granatensis. Game estates that controlled predators had a greater number of European rabbits (5.9 rabbits/10 km) and Iberian hares (1.7 hares/10 km) than paired hunting areas without predator control (0.5 rabbits/10 km; 0.3 hares/10 km). Twelve game estates that controlled predators (with box traps, shooting, snares) for >3 years were paired with 12 hunting areas without predator control. Paired sites (average 12 km2) were mostly grazed woodlands and farmland. Species controlled were red foxes Vulpes Vulpes (11 estates), Egyptian mongooses Herpestes ichneumon (six estates), feral cats Felis catus and dogs Canis familiaris (two estates), common genets Genetta genetta (one estate), stone martens Martes foina (one estate) and azure-winged magpies Cyanopica cyanus (one estate). Each site within a pair was sampled once on consecutive days in May–June 2000 or 2001. Rabbits and hares and/or their signs (faeces, footprints) were counted along walked transects (average 12 km long).

(Summarised by Anna Berthinussen)