Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Impact of land-use changes on red-legged partridge conservation in the Iberian Peninsula

  • MIGUEL DELIBES-MATEOS (a1), MIGUEL ÁNGEL FARFÁN (a2) (a3), JESÚS OLIVERO (a2) and JUAN MARIO VARGAS (a2) (a4)
Summary

Red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) populations have significantly declined in the Iberian Peninsula (by > 50% between 1973 and 2002). This decline has been attributed to the drastic changes that have occurred in traditional agricultural landscapes, among other factors. This paper assesses the relationship between landscape change and the changes in areas favourable to partridges. The areas favourable to partridges in Andalusia (southern Spain), and the environmental and land-use factors that determined these areas, were identified for both the 1960s and the 1990s. Land-use changes were analysed both throughout the study area and for areas where favourability for partridges has either improved or worsened during recent decades. Both the location and the factors determining areas favourable to red-legged partridges have changed substantially over recent decades. In the 1960s, areas favourable to partridges were associated mainly with natural vegetation in mountainous areas, whereas, by the 1990s, favourable areas were associated with large low-lying croplands; such change may be attributable to regional land-use changes. The percentage area of the main natural vegetation variables positively correlated to partridge favourability in the 1960s model (mainly pastures and open scrubland) had decreased in areas that had become unfavourable to the species (such as mountain areas), and risen where partridge favourability increased. By the 1990s, the land area favourable to partridges had decreased by c. 10% (c. 6000 km2) in southern Spain, whereas land use unfavourable to partridges markedly increased (> 100%; an increase of c. 3000 km2). Landscape suitable for partridges has thus become severely impoverished over recent decades in the Iberian Peninsula. Management measures aimed at improving the landscape for farmland birds should be encouraged to conserve red-legged partridge populations in southern Spain.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Correspondence: Juan Mario Vargas, Departamento de Biología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain Tel: +34 952131861 Fax: +34 952131668 e-mail: jmvy@uma.es
References
Hide All
Acevedo, P., Farfán, M.A., Márquez, A.L., Delibes-Mateos, M., Real, R. & Vargas, J.M. (2011) Past, present and future of wild ungulates in relation to changes in land use. Landscape Ecology 26: 1931.
Bender, D.J., Contreras, T.A. & Fahrig, L. (1998) Habitat loss and population decline: a meta-analysis of the patch size effect. Ecology 79: 517533.
Birdlife International (2012) Species factsheet: Alectoris rufa [www document]. URL http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=144
Blanco-Aguiar, J.A. (2007) Variación espacial en la biología de la perdiz roja (Alectoris rufa): una aproximación multidisciplinar. PhD thesis, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Blanco-Aguiar, J.A., González-Jara, P., Ferrero, M.E., Sánchez-Barbudo, I., Virgós, E., Villafuerte, R. & Dávila, J.A. (2008) Assessments of game restocking contributions to anthropogenic hybridization: the case of the Iberian red-legged partridge. Animal Conservation 11: 535545.
Blanco-Aguiar, J.A., Delibes-Mateos, M., Arroyo, B., Ferreras, P., Casas, F., Real, R., Vargas, J.M., Villafuerte, R. & Viñuela, J. (2012) Is the interaction between rabbit hemorrhagic disease and hyperpredation by raptors a major cause of the red-legged partridge decline in Spain?. European Journal of Wildlife Research (in press). doi:10.1007/s10344-011-0593-z
Bocard, D., Legrendre, P. & Drapeau, P. (1992) Partialling out the spatial component of ecological variation. Ecology 73: 10451055.
Borralho, R., Carvalho, S., Rego, F. & Pinto, P.V. (1999) Habitat correlates of red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) breeding density on Mediterranean farmland. Revue de Ecologie. Terre et la Vie 54: 5969.
Borralho, R., Rito, A., Rego, F., Simoes, H. & Vaz Pinto, P. (1996) Summer distribution of red-legged partridges Alectoris rufa in relation to water availability in Mediterranean farmland. Ibis 140: 620625.
Buenestado, F.J., Ferreras, P., Delibes-Mateos, M., Tortosa, F.S., Blanco-Aguiar, J.A. & Villafuerte, R. (2008) Habitat selection and home range size of red-legged partridges in Spain. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 126: 158162.
Buenestado, F.J., Ferreras, P., Tortosa, F.S., Blanco-Aguiar, J.A. & Villafuerte, R. (2009) Survival and causes of mortality among wild red-legged partridges Alectoris rufa in southern Spain: implications for conservation. Ibis 151: 720730.
Calderón, J. (1983) La perdiz roja, Alectoris rufa. Aspectos morfológicos, taxonómicos y biológicos. PhD Thesis, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Casas, F. & Viñuela, J. (2010) Agricultural practices or game management: which is the key to improve red-legged partridge nesting success in agricultural landscapes? Environmental Conservation 37: 177186.
Casas, F., Mougeot, F., Sánchez-Barbudo, I., Dávila, J.A. & Viñuela, J. (2012) Fitness consequences of anthropogenic hybridization in wild red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa, Phasianidae) populations. Biological Invasions 14: 295305.
Delibes-Mateos, M., Farfán, M.A., Olivero, J., Márquez, A.L. & Vargas, J.M. (2009) Long-term changes in game species over a long period of transformation in the Iberian Mediterranean landscapes. Environmental Management 43: 12561268.
Delibes-Mateos, M., Farfán, M. A., Olivero, J. & Vargas, J. M. (2010) Land use changes as a critical factor for long-term wild rabbit conservation in the Iberian Peninsula. Environmental Conservation 37: 169176.
Estrada, A., Arroyo, B. & Márquez, A.L. (2010) Possible changes in favourability areas and hen harriers in Spain according to climate change scenarios. Ardeola 57: 117122.
Farfán, M.A. (2010) Evaluación de la gestión de la caza en Andalucía. Un ensayo de comercialización cinegética. PhD Thesis, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Farfán, M.A., Guerrero, J.C., Real, R., Barbosa, A.M. & Vargas, J.M. (2004) Caracterización del aprovechamiento cinegético de los mamíferos en Andalucía. Galemys 16: 4159.
Farfán, M. A., Vargas, J. M., Duarte, J. & Real, R. (2009) Improving management plans by downscaling hunting yield models: a case study with the red-legged partridge in southern Spain. Wildlife Biology 15: 6879.
Farfán, M.A., Vargas, J.M., Guerrero, J.C., Barbosa, A.M., Duarte, J. & Real, R. (2008) Distribution modeling of wild rabbit hunting yields in its original area (S Iberian Peninsula). Italian Journal of Zoology 75: 161172.
Farfán, M.A., Duarte, J., Vargas, J.M. & Fa, J.E. (2011) Effects of human induced land-use changes on the distribution of the Iberian hare. Journal of Zoology (in press). doi:10.1111/j.1469–7998.2011.00873.x
Farr, T.G. & Kobrick, M. (2000) Shuttle radar topography mission produces a wealth of data. EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 81: 583585.
Fernádez-Alés, R., Martín, A., Ortega, F. & Ales, E.E. (1992) Recent changes in landscape structure and function in a Mediterranean region of SW Spain (1950–1984). Landscape Ecology 7: 318.
Fortuna, M.A. (2002) Selección de hábitat de la perdiz roja Alectoris rufa en periodo reproductor en relación con las características del paisaje de un agrosistema de La Mancha (España). Ardeola 49: 5966.
Gortázar, C., Herrero, J., Villafuerte, R. & Marco, J. (2000) Historical examination of the status of large mammals in Aragon, Spain. Mammalia 64: 411422.
Green, D.M. & Baker, M.G. (2003) Urbanization impacts on habitat and bird communities in a Sonoran desert ecosystem. Landscape and Urban Planning 63: 225239.
Hosmer, D.W. & Lemeshow, S. (1989) Applied Logistic Regression. New York, NY, USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Junta de Andalucía (2009) Mapa de usos y coberturas vegetales de Andalucía 1956–1999–2003, escala 1:25.000. Sevilla, Spain: Consejería de Medio Ambiente.
Kleinbaum, D.G., Kupper, L.L., Nizam, A. & Muller, K.E. (2007) Applied Regression Analysis and Other Multivariate Methods. Fourth edition. Pacific Grove, USA: Duxbury Press.
Legendre, P. 1993. Spatial autocorrelation: trouble or new paradigm? Ecology 74: 16591673.
Legendre, P. & Legendre, L. (1998) Numerical Ecology. Second English edition. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science.
Lucio, A.J. (1991) Selección de hábitat de la perdiz roja en matorrales supramediterráneos del noroeste de la cuenca del Duero. Aplicaciones para la gestión del hábitat cinegético. Ecología 5: 337353.
Ludwig, T., Storch, I. & Graf, R.F. (2009) Historic landscape change habitat loss: the case of black grouse in Lower Saxony, Germany. Landscape Ecology 24: 533546.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Wetlands and Water: Synthesis. Washington, DC, USA: World Resources Institute.
Ministerio de Agricultura (1968) Mapa Cinegético Nacional. Madrid, Spain: Ministerio de Agricultura.
Muñoz, A.R. & Real, R. (2006) Assessing the potential range expansion of the exotic monk parakeet in Spain. Diversity and Distribution 12: 656665.
Ortega, F. (1991) El medio físico. In: Geografía de España: Andalucía, Canarias: Vol. 8. pp. 83109. Barcelona, Spain: Editorial Planeta.
Pearce, J. & Ferrier, S. (2000) Evaluating the predictive performance of habitat models developed using logistic regression. Ecological Modelling 133: 225245.
Rands, M.R.W. (1986) Effect of hedgerow characteristics on partridge breeding densities. Journal of Applied Ecology 23: 479487.
Real, R., Barbosa, A.M. & Vargas, J.M. (2006) Obtaining environmental favourability functions from logistic regression. Environmental and Ecological Statatistics 13: 237245.
Real, R., Márquez, A.L., Olivero, J. & Vargas, J.M. (2010) Species distribution models in climate change scenarios are still not useful for informing policy planning: an uncertainty assessment using fuzzy logic. Ecography 33: 304314.
Rojas, A.B., Cotilla, I., Real, R. & Palomo, L.J. (2001) Determinación de las areas probables de distribución de los mamíferos terrestres en la provincial de Málaga. Galemys 13: 217229.
Romero-Calcerrada, R. & Perry, G.L.W. (2004) The role of land abandonment in landscape dynamics in the SPA Encinares del río Alberche y Cofio, Central Spain, 1984–1999. Landscape and Urban Planning 66: 217232.
Schmitt, T. & Rákosy, L. (2007) Changes of traditional agrarian landscapes and their conservation implications: a case study of butterflies in Romania. Diversity and Distributions 13: 855862.
Sergio, F., Scandolara, C., Marchesi, L., Pedrini, P. & Penteriani, V. (2005) Effect of agro-forestry and landscape changes on common buzzards (Buteo buteo) in the Alps: implications for conservation. Animal Conservation 8: 1725.
Sirami, C., Brotons, L. & Martin, J.L. (2007) Vegetation and songbird response to land abandonment: from landscape to census-plot. Diversity and Distributions 13: 4252.
Stephens, P.A., Buskirk, S.A., Hayward, G.D. & Martínez del Río, C. (2005) Information theory and hypothesis testing: a call for pluralism. Journal of Applied Ecology 42: 412.
Stouffer, P.C., Bierregaard, R.O., Strong, C. & Lovejoy, T.E. (2006) Long-term landscape change and bird abundance in Amazonian rainforest fragments. Conservation Biology 20: 12121223.
Symeonakis, E., Calvo-Cases, A. & Arnau-Rosalen, E. (2007) Land use change and land degradation in southeastern Mediterranean Spain. Environmental Management 40: 8094.
USGS (1996) GTOPO30. Land Processes Distributed Archive Center [www document]. URL http://edcdaac.usgs.gov/gtopo30/gtopo30.asp
Vargas, J.M. & Cardo, M. (1996) El declive de la perdiz roja en el olivar. Trofeo 317: 2327.
Vargas, J.M., Farfán, M.A., Guerrero, J.C., Barbosa, A.M. & Real, R. (2007) Geographical and environmental correlates of big and small game in Andalusia (southern Spain). Wildlife Research 34: 498506.
Vargas, J.M., Guerrero, J.C., Farfán, M.A., Barbosa, A.M. & Real, R. (2006) Land use and environmental factors affecting red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) hunting yields in southern Spain. European Journal of Wildlife Research 52: 188195.
Vickery, J., Carter, N. & Fuller, R.J. (2002) The potential value of managed cereal field margins as foraging habitats for farmland birds in the UK. Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment 89: 4152.
Villanúa, D., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Casas, F., Alzaga, V., Acevedo, P., Viñuela, J. & Gortázar, C. (2008) Sanitary risks of red-legged partridge releases: introduction of parasites. European Journal of Wildlife Research 54: 199204.
Wretenberg, J., Lindström, A., Svensson, S. & Pärt, T. (2007) Linking agricultural policies to population trends of Swedish farmland birds in different agricultural regions. Journal of Applied Ecology 44: 933941.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed