The Science of the Total Environment, Jan 15, 2014, Vol.468-469, p.140(7)
To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.08.022 Byline: Robert Hagen, Marco Heurich, Max Kroschel, Micha Herdtfelder Abstract: Human induced land use changes negatively impact the viability of many wildlife species through habitat modifications and mortality, while some species seem to benefit from it. Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), a wide spread ungulate increased both its abundance and range throughout Europe. This pattern is also reflected in the increasing hunting bags over the last 40years. Such a development raises questions about the relationship between human hunting and population dynamics and, in particular, about the potential of human hunting to control related populations. We analysed and reconstructed annual hunting bags of roe deer for three federal states of northern Germany, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg West Pomerania for the years 1972 to 2011. Since 1992 the hunting bags from these three states are significantly higher than those reported for the years 1972-1991. Our reconstruction takes into consideration effects of climate variability, expressed by inter-annual changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation and impacts from rapeseed and wheat cultivation. We found that severe winters, which are indicated by negative values of the North Atlantic Oscillation during the months December-March, directly, or with a time lag of two years affect the number of deer shot. In contrast, an increase in the area used for rapeseed cultivation coincides with higher numbers of roe deer shot, with respect to the overall mean value. Consequently, we recommend that wildlife management addresses changes in large scale processes including land use pattern and climate variability. Article History: Received 10 June 2013; Revised 7 August 2013; Accepted 8 August 2013 Article Note: (miscellaneous) Editor: Damia Barcelo
Hunting ; North Atlantic Oscillation ; Climate Cycles
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