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Title: Simulating brown hare (Lepus europeus Pallas) dispersion: a tool for wildlife management of wide areas
Authors: Pelorosso, Raffaele
Boccia, Lorenzo
Amici, Andrea
Keywords: Landscape fragmentation;Multicriterial evaluation;Brown hare;dispersion;wildlife management
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Page press, Italy
Source: Pelorosso R., Boccia L., Amici A. (2008). Simulating brown hare (Lepus europeus Pallas) dispersion: a tool for wildlife management of wide areas. Italian Journal of Animal Science, 7 (3): 335-350.
The second half of the 20th century was characterised by intense processes of urbanisation, industrialisation and agricultural mechanisation, leading to a fragmentation of the agricultural and forest landscape. This, in turn, reduced the bio-permeability of the territory and affected the dispersion of many wild species. Brown hare (Lepus europeus) dispersion is dramatically affected by habitat fragmentation, presence of predators, intense tillage and elevated hunting pressure. Consequently, the only stable populations of hare are often in no-hunting areas where wildlife management is efficient. It is necessary, therefore, to identify not only additional areas suitable for reproduction, but also the most suitable dispersion pathways for hares, in order to optimise management. In the present study, by means of a Geographic Information System (GIS), a deterministic hare suitability model was developed on the basis of a multicriterial approach and fuzzy logic. Subsequently, a fiction surface was derived from the suitability map in order to describe the land bio-permeability. Finally, on the basis of species potential, the spread of hares from stable population areas (source areas) to the remaining territory was simulated. The area of study was the province of Viterbo (central Italy). The suitability map showed good discrimination ability (ROC=0.705). The hare dispersion simulation map allowed the potential spreading of this species throughout the provincial territory to be analysed. Isolated or less connected zones were highlighted, allowing the distribution of habitat enhancements, and/or the institution of new no-hunting areas devoted to the reproduction and consequent spread of hares throughout the territory, to be localised.
The presented flexible and reiterable methodology could prove useful for wildlife management and hunting planning over a wide area. It would thus provide an important contribution to reducing the importance of animal translocation and favouring an increase in native resources spontaneously spreading throughout a territory. In a more general sense, this study is in accordance with the sustainable land management perspective, meeting the requirements of environmental protection, without compromising the anthropic development of non-urban areas.
ISSN: 1828-051X]
Appears in Collections:DiPA - Archivio della produzione scientifica

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