In this sense, net primary production NPP depends on meteorological conditions but is also associated with the availability of food resources and predation risks. July 6, ; Published: March 10, ; Accepted: The lack of data independence stemmed from a homogeneous biological structure, as within the population there is a strong family relationship between individuals. A better understanding of age and sex ratios in wild game bird populations could greatly improve our understanding of population processes and contribute to their management and conservation [ 22 — 24 ] The increase in anthropogenic activities is having an impact on natural ecosystems and degrading biological processes [ 25 , 26 ]. We examined scatterplots to gain a thorough understanding of the constraining assumptions imposed by our data set [ 40 ].
Monitoring game bird populations requires robust methods for annual assessments of fluctuations in populations and in the resulting population dynamics [ 31 , 33 , 34 ]. It covers a surface area of 1, ha of predominantly species-rich Mediterranean landscapes wood pastures or dehesa that are characterised by a habitat mosaic consisting of cereal crops, fallow, natural pastures Agrostis castellana, Poa bulbosa, Stipa tenacissima, Brachypodium distachyon, Trifolium glomeratum, Bellis annua, Bellis perennis and scrubland Cistus ladanifer, Quercus coccifera, Thymus vulgaris, Rosmarinus officinalis, Lavandula latifolia, Salvia officinalis, Santolina chamaecyparissus, Helianthemum syriacum with scattered holm oaks Quercus ilex. Clear reference patterns from a previously identified bird for each age and sex class young or adult; female or male were always available. A reduction in the impact of predation i. Annual, local and global age and sex ratios in declining red-legged partridge populations have been reported in northern Spain [ 14 , 27 , 32 ]. March 10, ; Accepted: We employed simple and multiple regression analyses for the response variables ratios, proportions, class explained by other ratios, proportions, class, year, and other independent variables such as density or weather. To build the models, we searched for all factors, covariates and interaction terms that might influence ecological explanations. Both factors alter age and sex ratios and as consequence, their dynamics reflect a population responses to changes in annual habitat quality [ 3 , 30 , 31 ]. In red-legged partridges Alectoris rufa , rapid habitat degradation has led to increased exposure of nests and coveys to predators and detrimental anthropogenic activities i. In the GLMs, we applied the deviance as a measure of the goodness of fit. In the field, we examined all bagged birds, certified and classified them as wild partridges. Hence, in areas of better quality habitat, we can expect juvenile survival and age ratios to be higher, and also that male and female survival rates will be similar and sex ratios balanced [ 3 , 28 , 29 ]. The model did not contain any redundant parameters or factor levels and the number of parameters and data were balanced [ 41 ]. We selected the best rain and temperature data according to the relationship between vegetation growth and partridge parameters, and selected the months and variables that showed the greatest correlation with the partridge population [ 43 ]. Hunting methods drives , as well as the ability of hunters and beaters, remained constant over the years. Introduction Age and sex ratios change as annual partridge production and predation rates vary [ 1 — 3 ] and hence large age ratios indicate good annual partridge recruitment. Figures Abstract The dynamics of a wild red-legged partridge population were examined over a year period in Spain to identify patterns in age and sex ratios in relation to weather parameters, and to assess the importance of these parameters in population dynamics and management. The development of a simple and robust method for estimating age and sex ratios in the field, as well as for interpreting the results obtained, could improve wildlife management and conservation. These specimens could be more similar to each other than to individuals from other locations or years that are separated by larger distances or longer time periods. A wing was taken from all birds for precise measurement in the laboratory to confirm the age and sex determination carried out in the field and thus to verify the class they had been assigned to [ 37 , 38 ]. We associated autumn ratios with the summer age ratios derived from counts conducted in July [ 15 ]. The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. This property also holds more than important and protected bird species including Spanish imperial Aquila adalberti and golden Aquila chrysaetos eagles, cinereous vulture Aegypius monachus , pin-tailed Pterocles alchata and black-bellied Pterocles orientalis sandgrouse, among others. A better understanding of age and sex ratios in wild game bird populations could greatly improve our understanding of population processes and contribute to their management and conservation [ 22 — 24 ] The increase in anthropogenic activities is having an impact on natural ecosystems and degrading biological processes [ 25 , 26 ]. The most robust tests were maintained to simplify the results obtained.
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