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How to manage human-induced mortality in the Eagle Owl Bubo bubo

  • JOSE A. MARTÍNEZ (a1), JOSÉ E. MARTÍNEZ (a2), SANTI MAÑOSA (a3), IÑIGO ZUBEROGOITIA (a4) and JOSÉ F. CALVO (a2)...
Abstract

The Eagle Owl Bubo bubo, which feeds mainly on rabbits and partridges, has been persecuted widely for causing damage to game interests. Although it is a protected species throughout Europe, there is a noteworthy gap in the scientific literature on the causes of mortality in this top predator. Here, we assess the relative importance and the geographical and temporal variation of human-related causes of death by reviewing 1,576 files of individuals admitted to wildlife rescue centres in Spain, a stronghold for Eagle Owls. The main known cause of death was interaction with powerlines followed by persecution and collisions with game fences and cars. There were within-year variations in the distribution of persecution, electrocution and collisions with game fences. Some man-induced causes of mortality were seen to depend on both the geographical region and the period of the year; moreover, mortality within each region was also year-dependent. Since there are strong socio-economic and ethical components involved, management guidelines are discussed bearing in mind such points of view.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Author for correspondence; e-mail: jfcalvo@um.es
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Bird Conservation International
  • ISSN: 0959-2709
  • EISSN: 1474-0001
  • URL: /core/journals/bird-conservation-international
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