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Winter survival of Eurasian woodcock Scolopax rusticola in central Italy

Wildlife Biology

By:
, , , , , and
DOI: 10.2981/0909-6396(2008)14[36:WSOEWS]2.0.CO;2

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Abstract

The Eurasian woodcock Scolopax rusticola is a popular game bird in much of Europe. However, little is known about its population dynamics. We estimated winter survival of woodcock in a protected area with no hunting in central Italy. We radio-tagged 68 woodcocks with battery-powered radio-transmitters during 2001-2005. Woodcocks were captured in fields at night from November through February and fitted with radios. Birds were classified on capture as juveniles or adults using plumage characteristics. Woodcocks were relocated daily through March of each year or until they died, disappeared from the study area, or until their radio failed. We constructed a set of eight competing models of daily survival for the period 1 December - 28 February. Estimates of survival were obtained using the program SURVIV and Akaike's Information Criteria. The best model suggested daily survival was a constant 0.9985 (95% CI = 0.9972-0.9998), corresponding to a survival rate of 0.88 (SE = 0.05) for the 90-day winter study period. Our estimate of juvenile survival is higher than previously reported, and may reflect the protected status of the study area. Our estimates of winter survival may be helpful in managing harvested woodcock populations as well as in conserving populations in an increasingly urbanised environment. ?? Wildlife Biology (2008).

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Winter survival of Eurasian woodcock Scolopax rusticola in central Italy
Series title:
Wildlife Biology
DOI:
10.2981/0909-6396(2008)14[36:WSOEWS]2.0.CO;2
Volume
14
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2008
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Wildlife Biology
First page:
36
Last page:
43