More than half of the European population of the Barbary Partridge is in Sardinia; nonetheless, the researches concerning this species are very scarce, and its conservation status is not defined because of a deficiency of data. This research aimed to analyse the habitat selection and the factors affecting the abundance and the density of the Barbary Partridge in Sardinia. We used the data collected over 8 years (between 2004 and 2013) by spring call counts in 67 study sites spread on the whole island. We used GLMM to define the relationships between the environment (topography, land use, climate) both the occurrence and the abundance of the species. Moreover, we estimated population densities by distance sampling. The Barbary Partridge occurred in areas at low altitude with garrigue and pastures, avoiding woodlands and sparsely vegetated areas. We found a strong relationship between the occurrence probability and the climate, in particular, a positive relation with temperature and a negative effect of precipitation, especially in April–May, during brood rearing. Furthermore, dry crops positively affected the abundance of the species. We estimated a density of 14.1 partridges per km2, similar to other known estimates. Our findings are important both because they increase the knowledge concerning this species, which is considered data deficient in Italy, and because they are useful to plan management actions aimed to maintain viable populations if necessary.

Spatial distribution of the Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara) in Sardinia explained by land use and climate

Chiatante G.
;
Vidus Rosin A.;Meriggi A.
2021

Abstract

More than half of the European population of the Barbary Partridge is in Sardinia; nonetheless, the researches concerning this species are very scarce, and its conservation status is not defined because of a deficiency of data. This research aimed to analyse the habitat selection and the factors affecting the abundance and the density of the Barbary Partridge in Sardinia. We used the data collected over 8 years (between 2004 and 2013) by spring call counts in 67 study sites spread on the whole island. We used GLMM to define the relationships between the environment (topography, land use, climate) both the occurrence and the abundance of the species. Moreover, we estimated population densities by distance sampling. The Barbary Partridge occurred in areas at low altitude with garrigue and pastures, avoiding woodlands and sparsely vegetated areas. We found a strong relationship between the occurrence probability and the climate, in particular, a positive relation with temperature and a negative effect of precipitation, especially in April–May, during brood rearing. Furthermore, dry crops positively affected the abundance of the species. We estimated a density of 14.1 partridges per km2, similar to other known estimates. Our findings are important both because they increase the knowledge concerning this species, which is considered data deficient in Italy, and because they are useful to plan management actions aimed to maintain viable populations if necessary.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1438777
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