Habitat Management |
Game Management
Game Management

Nearly 85% of the project intervention area is classified according to the Special Cinegetic Regime such as Touristic, Associative and Municipal Hunting Areas, and is subject to specific measures of cinegetic management.  The Hunting Areas’ managers – owners, associations or municipalities are active participants in the management of lands and, therefore, they play an essential role in the conservation of local biodiversity. As active managers of the territory, namely in what concerns cinegetic biodiversity, the Hunting Areas may also play an important part in the conservation and protection of endangered species.

The Great Bustard and the Little Bustard are two species that share the particularity of having their offspring following their progenitors from the moment they are born; only learning how to fly some months later.  During their first months of life the hatchlings learn to know the territory, discovering the places where they can feed and drink, while following their mothers. This is the reason why, during the summer time, when food and water scarce and juveniles are still growing, it is necessary that there are sites with good conditions for the birds to feed and drink, especially in years of drought. 

The management carried out by Hunting Areas for cinegetic species may, for that reason, be an important contribution for the conservation of endangered species, showing the part that the cinegetic activity plays in the preservation of natural resources. One of the examples are the cultures planted for the fauna, the food made available or the watering places, that can simultaneously be used by cinegetic species ( such as the partridge, the rabbit and the hare) and by steppe birds, such as the Great Bustard and the Little Bustard.

Therefore, the project’s team intends to work along with the cinegetic managers in order to establish methodologies that can be used for hunting management and simultaneously benefit steppe birds.  This type of cooperation is particularly relevant in drought situations due to the impact of climate changes on the occurrence areas of these species.

Another important part played by the hunting areas is related to their refuge areas or with the way in which they carry out the planning of their activities. The refuge areas are important not only as “source" of individuals of cinegetic species but also as sites of reduced disturbance in the global set of hunting areas, which provide shelter for the more sensible species, as the Great Bustard and the Little Bustard. In practice, measures like adjusting periodically and temporarily the hunting spots, in order to avoid the areas where the Great Bustard females are with their juveniles, may be an essential contribution for the improvement of bird survival.  
The cooperation with hunt managers plays, therefore, a key role in the conservation of the Great Bustard and Little Bustard, and it may result in a very important contribution in what concerns the reestablishment of its populations.

The monitoring of the measures already implemented is being carried out with resource to automatic photographic cameras that already allow us to watch some of results achieved.