Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Vagrant dogs the most harmful disturbance to great bustard in central Spain

Sastre, P., Ponce, C., Palacín, C., Martín, C. A., & Alonso, J. C. (2009). Disturbances to great bustards (Otis tarda) in central Spain: human activities, bird responses and management implications. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 55(4), 425-432.

We investigated the effects of human activities on the behaviour of great bustards (Otis tarda) in a Special Protection Area in central Spain. We recorded 532 disturbances, at a rate of 0.93 disturbances per hour, a high value compared to other studies. Escape (flight/running) was observed more often than alert. Flight was more frequent than running. Car traffic and walkers were the main sources of disturbance. Motorcyclists, dogs, helicopters and aeroplanes were also harmful in relation to their abundance and time of permanence. Farming and shepherding produced few disturbances and usually did not cause a flight response. These activities are thus considered compatible with the conservation of the great bustards. Hunting caused an increase in the frequency of disturbance on weekends and holidays with respect to working days. We propose access restrictions to car traffic and helicopters/airplanes and hunting limitations in those areas more frequently used by the species.

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