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Sample records for capercaillie tetrao urogallus

  1. Mycobacterium infection in a captive-reared capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus).

    PubMed

    Marco, I; Domingo, M; Lavin, S

    2000-01-01

    One captive male capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) was found dead on December 1993 at the breeding center of capercaillie in Catalonia, Spain. The bird was emaciated and, at necropsy, had numerous nodules of various sizes subcutaneously in the cervical region, pleura, lungs, liver, spleen, and mesentery. Microscopic examination revealed granulomatous lesions with central caseous necrosis, epithelioid cells, giant cells, and few lymphocytes in all affected organs. Numerous acid-fast bacilli were demonstrated in the tubercles with Ziehl-Nielsen stain.

  2. No genetic evidence of sex-biased dispersal in a lekking bird, the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus).

    PubMed

    Mäki-Petäys, H; Corander, J; Aalto, J; Liukkonen, T; Helle, P; Orell, M

    2007-05-01

    Sex-biased dispersal is often connected to the mating behaviour of the species. Even if patterns of natal dispersal are reasonably well documented for monogamous birds, only a few data are available for polygynous and especially lekking species. We investigated the dispersal of the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) by examining sex-specific gene flow among the leks. Genetic information was extracted using nuclear and mitochondrial molecular markers for sexed faecal samples and analysed by novel Bayesian statistical methods. Contrary to the traditional view that the males are highly philopatric and female is the dispersing sex, we found roughly equivalent gross and effective dispersal of the sexes. The level of polygamy has a strong influence on the effective population size and on the effective dispersal. The results do not support the theories that dispersal evolves solely as a result of resource competition or other advantages to males obtained through kin selection in lekking species. PMID:17465897

  3. Simple and effective methods of freezing capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) semen.

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk, Artur; Łukaszewicz, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    A continuous decline in the number and range of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) in many European countries can be observed, mostly due to habitat destruction by human activity, unecological forestry management, and increased density of natural predators. Ex situ in vitro gene banks provide a unique opportunity to preserve the genetic material for future generations. Simple and effective cryopreservation methods for capercaillie semen are discussed. Semen was collected from seven males kept in the Capercaillie Breeding Centre at Forestry Wisła in Poland. Within five minutes after collection, ejaculates were diluted with EK diluent, then divided into two parts, and subjected to two freezing procedures: in pellets and in straws. In fresh semen, ejaculate clearness, viscosity, color and volume, as well as sperm concentration, motility and morphology, were evaluated, while in frozen-thawed semen only motility and morphology of sperm were determined. Fertilizing ability of thawed semen was examined for samples frozen in straws. Significant (P<0.05) differences between individual males were found in relation to the majority of fresh semen traits: ejaculate volume averaged 102.1 µL (varying from 49.0 to 205.0); average sperm concentration was 632.5 x 10⁶ mL⁻¹ (178.8-1257.1); percentage of live normal cells varied from 39.2 to 70.3% (58.7% on an average); percentage of motile cells ranged from 76.0 to 85.7%) and motility parameters were male dependent, as well. Both cryopreservation methods had a negative effect on morphology and motility of frozen-thawed semen; however, the straw method yielded 60.7% and the pellet method 42.5% of live cells in total in thawed semen (P<0.05), while the number of live normal (intact) cells was similar (22.4 and 22.2%, respectively). Egg fertility varied between 77.8 and 91.7% (average 84.4%). Both freezing procedures seem to be effective in obtaining acceptable viability and high fertilizing potency of thawed sperm and can be used

  4. Comparative Examination of Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) Behaviour Responses and Semen Quality to Two Methods of Semen Collection

    PubMed Central

    Łukaszewicz, Ewa Teresa; Kowalczyk, Artur Mikołaj; Rzońca, Zenon

    2015-01-01

    Artificial insemination (AI) is very helpful in solving the reproductive and biodiversity problems observed in small, closed avian populations. The successful production of fertilized eggs using AI is dependent on the collection of good quality semen. Two methods of male sexual stimulation and semen collection from captive kept capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.), one of the most seriously endangered grouse species in Europe, are compared in this study. Ejaculates were obtained either with the use of a dummy female or by the dorso-abdominal massage method. Differences in the individual responses of the males to the two methods of semen collection as well as in their semen quality were noted. Only sperm concentration (432.4 x 106 mL-1 with dummy female and 614.5 x 106 mL-1 for massage method) was significantly affected by capercaillie stimulation method. Sperm motility and morphology were not affected (P≥0.05). Thus, for semen collection from captive kept capercaillie both methods can be used successfully. The dummy female can be an alternative to dorso-abdominal massage method, commonly used for semen collection from domesticated bird species. PMID:26397704

  5. Estimating population size for Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) with spatial capture-recapture models based on genotypes from one field sample

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mollet, Pierre; Kery, Marc; Gardner, Beth; Pasinelli, Gilberto; Royle, Andy

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a survey of an endangered and cryptic forest grouse, the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, based on droppings collected on two sampling occasions in eight forest fragments in central Switzerland in early spring 2009. We used genetic analyses to sex and individually identify birds. We estimated sex-dependent detection probabilities and population size using a modern spatial capture-recapture (SCR) model for the data from pooled surveys. A total of 127 capercaillie genotypes were identified (77 males, 46 females, and 4 of unknown sex). The SCR model yielded atotal population size estimate (posterior mean) of 137.3 capercaillies (posterior sd 4.2, 95% CRI 130–147). The observed sex ratio was skewed towards males (0.63). The posterior mean of the sex ratio under the SCR model was 0.58 (posterior sd 0.02, 95% CRI 0.54–0.61), suggesting a male-biased sex ratio in our study area. A subsampling simulation study indicated that a reduced sampling effort representing 75% of the actual detections would still yield practically acceptable estimates of total size and sex ratio in our population. Hence, field work and financial effort could be reduced without compromising accuracy when the SCR model is used to estimate key population parameters of cryptic species.

  6. Estimating Population Size for Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models Based on Genotypes from One Field Sample

    PubMed Central

    Mollet, Pierre; Kéry, Marc; Gardner, Beth; Pasinelli, Gilberto; Royle, J. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a survey of an endangered and cryptic forest grouse, the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus, based on droppings collected on two sampling occasions in eight forest fragments in central Switzerland in early spring 2009. We used genetic analyses to sex and individually identify birds. We estimated sex-dependent detection probabilities and population size using a modern spatial capture-recapture (SCR) model for the data from pooled surveys. A total of 127 capercaillie genotypes were identified (77 males, 46 females, and 4 of unknown sex). The SCR model yielded atotal population size estimate (posterior mean) of 137.3 capercaillies (posterior sd 4.2, 95% CRI 130–147). The observed sex ratio was skewed towards males (0.63). The posterior mean of the sex ratio under the SCR model was 0.58 (posterior sd 0.02, 95% CRI 0.54–0.61), suggesting a male-biased sex ratio in our study area. A subsampling simulation study indicated that a reduced sampling effort representing 75% of the actual detections would still yield practically acceptable estimates of total size and sex ratio in our population. Hence, field work and financial effort could be reduced without compromising accuracy when the SCR model is used to estimate key population parameters of cryptic species. PMID:26087321

  7. The Usefulness of Captive Kept Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) as the Semen Donors for Artificial Insemination and Gene Pool Preservation In vitro.

    PubMed

    Łukaszewicz, E T; Kowalczyk, A M

    2015-06-01

    Captive breeding of birds threatened by extinction in zoological gardens or other closed aviary centres is one of the methods allowing their protection and gene pool preservation ex situ in vivo. Such birds are usually kept in captivity lifelong and serve as parents of several new generations that can be further released into natural environment, or males are used as semen donors for artificial insemination and gene banking. Therefore, the fecundity of such flocks (number of laid egg and spermatozoa quantity and quality) is very important. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of captive kept capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) as semen donors in three subsequent reproductive seasons, based on the assessment of manually collected semen quality. Male response to dorso-abdominal massage, ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, motility and morphology were evaluated individually at three succeeding years. Depending on individual male properties and year of collection, the number of positive reactions to semen collection attempts (i.e. ending with ejaculation) varied from 44.4% to 100.0%; single ejaculate volume ranged from 10 to 300 μl, spermatozoa concentration from 10 × 10(6) per ml to 3520 × 10(6) per ml and percentage of live morphologically normal spermatozoa from 19.3 to 80.3%. The highest average value (66.7) of semen quality factor (SQF) was noted for a 2-year-old male (varying from 1.9 to 258.1), while the lowest for ten- (4.8; varying from 0.1 to 17.0) and 7-year-old (6.6; varying between 0.6 and 13.6). Assuming that for AI purposes, the ejaculate quality has to be at minimum 10 SQF, obtained results indicate that majority of capercaillie kept in captivity, both young (2-3 years old) and older (up to 10 years old), can be valuable semen producers in succeeding seasons.

  8. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Afonso, Iván; Jiménez, José; Fernández-Olalla, Mariana; Canut, Jordi; García-Ferré, Diego; Piqué, Josep; García, Francisco; Roig, Job; Muñoz-Igualada, Jaime; González, Luis Mariano; López-Bao, José Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008–2013) together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999–2007) within a before-after control-impact (BACI) design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes). Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable management

  9. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Afonso, Iván; Jiménez, José; Fernández-Olalla, Mariana; Canut, Jordi; García-Ferré, Diego; Piqué, Josep; García, Francisco; Roig, Job; Muñoz-Igualada, Jaime; González, Luis Mariano; López-Bao, José Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008-2013) together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999-2007) within a before-after control-impact (BACI) design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes). Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable management

  10. Reintroduction of the European Capercaillie from the Capercaillie Breeding Centre in Wisła Forest District: Genetic Assessments of Captive and Reintroduced Populations

    PubMed Central

    Strzała, Tomasz; Kowalczyk, Artur; Łukaszewicz, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    The Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) is a specific bird species, which, despite its very broad distribution and large global population size, is highly endangered in many Western and Central European countries. According to the species situation, in many countries (including Poland), breeding and reintroduction programmes have been started. One of the most complex and large-scale reintroduction programmes was started in Bory Dolnośląskie Forest, and the Capercaillie Breeding Centre in Wisła Forest District was used as one of the sources of individuals for reintroduction. As genetic tools provide essential knowledge about species biodiversity, which is crucially important during the breeding process and reintroduction, both captive and reintroduced grouse populations were genetically analysed. We were particularly interested in genetic diversity of the individuals in both populations and the genetic relationship between them, as well as between them and other capercaillie representatives from their current range. To fulfil these goals we determined nine microsatellite loci along with a fragment of the mitochondrial control region. Genetic diversity parameters were moderate to high compared to populations from other Central and Western European countries. Both populations were clustered into three distinct genetic clades based on microsatellites. Phylogenetic analysis placed all mitochondrial haplotypes we revealed in the Eurasian clade. The present results will play an important role as they will help to preserve and maximize genetic diversity in captive populations, and will provide a basis for future monitoring of the reintroduction process. PMID:26682897

  11. Genetic Differentiation of the Western Capercaillie Highlights the Importance of South-Eastern Europe for Understanding the Species Phylogeography

    PubMed Central

    Ballian, Dalibor; Kunovac, Saša; Zubić, Goran; Grubešić, Marijan; Zhelev, Petar; Paule, Ladislav; Grebenc, Tine; Kraigher, Hojka

    2011-01-01

    The Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L.) is a grouse species of open boreal or high altitude forests of Eurasia. It is endangered throughout most mountain range habitat areas in Europe. Two major genetically identifiable lineages of Western Capercaillie have been described to date: the southern lineage at the species' southernmost range of distribution in Europe, and the boreal lineage. We address the question of genetic differentiation of capercaillie populations from the Rhodope and Rila Mountains in Bulgaria, across the Dinaric Mountains to the Slovenian Alps. The two lineages' contact zone and resulting conservation strategies in this so-far understudied area of distribution have not been previously determined. The results of analysis of mitochondrial DNA control region sequences of 319 samples from the studied populations show that Alpine populations were composed exclusively of boreal lineage; Dinaric populations of both, but predominantly (96%) of boreal lineage; and Rhodope-Rila populations predominantly (>90%) of southern lineage individuals. The Bulgarian mountains were identified as the core area of the southern lineage, and the Dinaric Mountains as the western contact zone between both lineages in the Balkans. Bulgarian populations appeared genetically distinct from Alpine and Dinaric populations and exhibited characteristics of a long-term stationary population, suggesting that they should be considered as a glacial relict and probably a distinct subspecies. Although all of the studied populations suffered a decline in the past, the significantly lower level of genetic diversity when compared with the neighbouring Alpine and Bulgarian populations suggests that the isolated Dinaric capercaillie is particularly vulnerable to continuing population decline. The results are discussed in the context of conservation of the species in the Balkans, its principal threats and legal protection status. Potential conservation strategies should consider the

  12. [Role of microbiocenosis of the gastrointestinal tract in the nutrition of grouse].

    PubMed

    Vecherskiĭ, M V; Kuznetsova, T A; Kostina, N A; Gorlenko, M V; Golichenkov, M B; Umarov, M M; Naumova, E I

    2014-01-01

    In order to assess the role of the microbiocenosis of the digestive tract of herbivorous birds in transforming poor forage, the activity of cellulolytic enzymes in all departments of the gastrointestinal tract of the black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) and Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) was studied. The functional diversity of microbial communities of different departments was also investigated. In both species of birds, nitrogenase and cellobiohydrolase activities were discovered in the digestive tract, with the maximum observed in the cecum. PMID:25731039

  13. Demographic Status and Genetic Tagging of Endangered Capercaillie in NW Spain

    PubMed Central

    Morán-Luis, María; Fameli, Alberto; Blanco-Fontao, Beatriz; Fernández-Gil, Alberto; Rodríguez-Muñoz, Rolando; Quevedo, Mario; Mirol, Patricia; Bañuelos, María-José

    2014-01-01

    Counting rare and elusive animals and evaluating their demographic status, are fundamental yet challenging aspects of population ecology and conservation biology. We set out to estimate population size (Nc), genetic effective population size (Ne gen), sex ratio, and movements based on genetic tagging for the threatened Cantabrian capercaillie. We used 9 microsatellite loci to genotype 134 droppings collected at 34 display areas during the breeding season. Using genetic capture-mark-recapture, we estimated 93 individuals (Nc, 95% CI: 70–116) in an area of about 500 km2, with sex ratio biased towards males (1∶1.6). Estimated Ne gen (35.5) was 38% of Nc, notably higher than the published average in wild populations. This capercaillie population is small and well within concern in terms of population viability. By genetic tagging, we detected mostly short movements; just a few males were recaptured between contiguous display areas. Non-invasive surveys of endangered populations have a great potential, yet adequate sample size and location are key to obtain reliable information on conservation status. PMID:24926790

  14. Population genetic structure of male black grouse (Tetrao tetrix L.) in fragmented vs. continuous landscapes.

    PubMed

    Caizergues, Alain; Rätti, Osmo; Helle, Pekka; Rotelli, Luca; Ellison, Laurence; Rasplus, Jean-Yves

    2003-09-01

    We investigated the association of habitat fragmentation with genetic structure of male black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Using 14 microsatellites, we compared the genetic differentiation of males among nine localities in continuous lowland habitats in Finland to the genetic differentiation among 14 localities in fragmented habitats in the Alps (France, Switzerland and Italy). In both areas, we found significant genetic differentiation. However, the average differentiation, measured as theta, was more than three times higher in the Alps than in Finland. The greater differentiation found in the Alps is probably due to the presence of mountain ridges rising above natural habitats of the species, which form barriers to gene flow, and to a higher influence of genetic drift resulting from lower effective sizes in highly fragmented habitats. The detection of isolation by distance in the Alps suggests that gene flow among populations does occur. The genetic variability measured as gene diversity HE and allelic richness A was lower in the Alps than in Finland. This could result from the higher fragmentation and/or from the fact that populations in the Alps are isolated from the main species range and have a lower effective size than in Finland. This study suggests that habitat fragmentation can affect genetic structure of avian species with relatively high dispersal propensities. PMID:12919469

  15. Coupling in goshawk and grouse population dynamics in Finland.

    PubMed

    Tornberg, Risto; Lindén, Andreas; Byholm, Patrik; Ranta, Esa; Valkama, Jari; Helle, Pekka; Lindén, Harto

    2013-04-01

    Different prey species can vary in their significance to a particular predator. In the simplest case, the total available density or biomass of a guild of several prey species might be most relevant to the predator, but behavioural and ecological traits of different prey species can alter the picture. We studied the population dynamics of a predator-prey setting in Finland by fitting first-order log-linear vector autoregressive models to long-term count data from active breeding sites of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis; 1986-2009), and to three of its main prey species (1983-2010): hazel grouse (Bonasa bonasia), black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) and capercaillie (T. urogallus), which belong to the same forest grouse guild and show synchronous fluctuations. Our focus was on modelling the relative significance of prey species and estimating the tightness of predator-prey coupling in order to explain the observed population dynamics, simultaneously accounting for effects of density dependence, winter severity and spatial correlation. We established nine competing candidate models, where different combinations of grouse species affect goshawk dynamics with lags of 1-3 years. Effects of goshawk on grouse were investigated using one model for each grouse species. The most parsimonious model for goshawk indicated separate density effects of hazel grouse and black grouse, and different effects with lags of 1 and 3 years. Capercaillie showed no effects on goshawk populations, while the effect of goshawk on grouse was clearly negative only in capercaillie. Winter severity had significant adverse effects on goshawk and hazel grouse populations. In combination, large-scale goshawk-grouse population dynamics are coupled, but there are no clear mutual effects for any of the individual guild members. In a broader context, our study suggests that pooling data on closely related, synchronously fluctuating prey species can result in the loss of relevant information, rather than

  16. Monitoring landscape changes in Caucasian black grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi) habitat in Iran during the last two decades.

    PubMed

    Darvishi, Asef; Fakheran, Sima; Soffianian, Alireza

    2015-07-01

    Caucasian black grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi) is on the 'red' list of species of high conservation concern as nearest threatened (NT) and also in level (I) of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The black grouse distribution range in Iran is restricted to the Arasbaran region, Northwest of Iran, and the populations and range of this specialist bird species have been declining over the last decades. Management of forest and grassland structures is important for black grouse population survival. The main goals of this study were to monitor and quantify the landscape pattern changes in Caucasian black grouse habitat in the Arasbaran biosphere reserve in two periods of 14 years (1987-2001) and 10 years (2001-2011). For quantifying landscape pattern changes, various landscape metrics were derived by spatial analysis software FRAGSTATS 3.3, including NP (number of habitat patches), LPI (largest patch index) and TE (total edge). The results indicated that the proportion of forest decreased from 39.95 to 31.95% and the proportion of grassland decreased from 44.45 to 38.44% in the 24-year span. NP of forests increased in the first period and decreased in the second period of study. TE of dense forest at altitude above 1800 m decreased. Reduction of forest edge is an indicator of reduction in habitat availability for Caucasian black grouse which use the forest edge for living, lekking and hatching in upland. Our results provided quantitative data on habitat loss and fragmentation in the Arasbaran biosphere reserve and indicated negative impacts of the landscape structure changes on Black grouse habitat. PMID:26088757

  17. Honeybees Increase Fruit Set in Native Plant Species Important for Wildlife Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P.

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wildcherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  18. Honeybees increase fruit set in native plant species important for wildlife conservation.

    PubMed

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wild cherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  19. Karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes: an examination of the process of karyotypic evolution by comparison of the molecular cytogenetic findings with the molecular phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Shibusawa, M; Nishibori, M; Nishida-Umehara, C; Tsudzuki, M; Masabanda, J; Griffin, D K; Matsuda, Y

    2004-01-01

    To define the process of karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes on a molecular basis, we conducted genome-wide comparative chromosome painting for eight species, i.e. silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera), Lady Amherst's pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Chinese bamboo-partridge (Bambusicola thoracica) and common peafowl (Pavo cristatus) of the Phasianidae, and plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) of the Cracidae, with chicken DNA probes of chromosomes 1-9 and Z. Including our previous data from five other species, chicken (Gallus gallus), Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and blue-breasted quail (Coturnix chinensis) of the Phasianidae, guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) of the Numididae and California quail (Callipepla californica) of the Odontophoridae, we represented the evolutionary changes of karyotypes in the 13 species of the Galliformes. In addition, we compared the cytogenetic data with the molecular phylogeny of the 13 species constructed with the nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, and discussed the process of karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes. Comparative chromosome painting confirmed the previous data on chromosome rearrangements obtained by G-banding analysis, and identified several novel chromosome rearrangements. The process of the evolutionary changes of macrochromosomes in the 13 species was in good accordance with the molecular phylogeny, and the ancestral karyotype of the Galliformes is represented.

  20. Karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes: an examination of the process of karyotypic evolution by comparison of the molecular cytogenetic findings with the molecular phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Shibusawa, M; Nishibori, M; Nishida-Umehara, C; Tsudzuki, M; Masabanda, J; Griffin, D K; Matsuda, Y

    2004-01-01

    To define the process of karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes on a molecular basis, we conducted genome-wide comparative chromosome painting for eight species, i.e. silver pheasant (Lophura nycthemera), Lady Amherst's pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae), ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Chinese bamboo-partridge (Bambusicola thoracica) and common peafowl (Pavo cristatus) of the Phasianidae, and plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula) of the Cracidae, with chicken DNA probes of chromosomes 1-9 and Z. Including our previous data from five other species, chicken (Gallus gallus), Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) and blue-breasted quail (Coturnix chinensis) of the Phasianidae, guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) of the Numididae and California quail (Callipepla californica) of the Odontophoridae, we represented the evolutionary changes of karyotypes in the 13 species of the Galliformes. In addition, we compared the cytogenetic data with the molecular phylogeny of the 13 species constructed with the nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, and discussed the process of karyotypic evolution in the Galliformes. Comparative chromosome painting confirmed the previous data on chromosome rearrangements obtained by G-banding analysis, and identified several novel chromosome rearrangements. The process of the evolutionary changes of macrochromosomes in the 13 species was in good accordance with the molecular phylogeny, and the ancestral karyotype of the Galliformes is represented. PMID:15218250

  1. 76 FR 50051 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Six Foreign Birds as Endangered Throughout...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-11

    ... Cantabrian capercaillie occurs in entirely deciduous forests, not pine forests. In fact, this habitat... deciduous forests in this area. Therefore, we did not add any information on the impact of climate change to... is the only subspecies that inhabits pure deciduous forests) and morphological differences from...

  2. Mechanisms Underlying the Bioindicator Notion: Spatial Association between Individual Sexual Performance and Community Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Laiolo, Paola; Bañuelos, María J.; Blanco-Fontao, Beatriz; García, Mónica; Gutiérrez, Gloria

    2011-01-01

    The bioindicator notion is an appealing concept that has received more support in applied than in basic ecology, mostly due to the difficulty in deriving general ecological rules applicable to all target organisms. However, recognizing the mechanisms that determine the association between a particular species and the well-being of many other species is important for understanding the functioning of ecosystems and the relationship among different biological levels. We examined here the processes at the individual level that cause an association between species performance and biodiversity value, by analyzing attributes that can be studied in a variety of animals with sexual reproduction, namely breeding site selection and condition-dependent sexual signals. Our study model was the Capercaillie, an indicator of forest functioning and diversity, and the associated bird community, used here as a surrogate of broader forest biodiversity. At a regional scale Capercaillie occurrence was not associated with the most diverse forest patches, but at the scale of male spring territories the sexual display grounds (arenas) were located in the oldest and less disturbed forest portions, which also hosted the richest local bird communities. Social mechanisms and conspecific cueing likely concurred with habitat-driven processes in determining the long-term persistence of traditional display grounds, which were appealing to many other species because of their structural composition. Characteristics of male vocal display that honestly advertize male quality (low frequencies and rapid song rates) were significantly correlated with high diversity values, resulting in a spatial association between individual and community performances. Costly or risky activities such as reproductive or social behaviors, which more than other attributes match gradients in habitat quality, are therefore contributing to functionally connect individuals with ecosystem health. PMID:21818374

  3. Behavioural responses of red deer to fences of five different designs.

    PubMed

    Goddard, P J.; Summers, R W.; Macdonald, A J.; Murray, C; Fawcett, A R.

    2001-08-27

    Capercaillie, a large species of grouse, are sometimes killed when they fly into high-tensile deer fences. A fence design which is lower or has a less rigid top section than conventional designs would reduce bird deaths, but such fences would still have to be deer-proof. The short-term behavioural responses of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) to fences of five designs, including four that were designed to be less damaging to capercaillie, were measured. Five deer were located on one side of a fence with a larger group (20 animals), from which they had been recently separated, on the other. The efficacy of fences in preventing deer from the small group from rejoining the larger group was also recorded. In addition to a conventional deer fence (C) the four new designs were, an inverted "L" shape (L), a fence with offset electric wire (E), a double fence (D) and a fence with four webbing tapes above (W). Four replicate groups of deer were each tested for 3 days with each fence design. Deer paced the test fence line relatively frequently (a proportion of 0.09 scan observations overall) but significantly less when deer were separated by fences E or C compared to L, W or D (overall difference between fence types, P<0.001). Deer separated by fence E spent significantly more time pacing perimeter fences than deer separated by fences of other types (overall difference between fence types, P<0.01) but deer separated by fence C maintained a low level of fence pacing overall. Analysis of behaviour patterns across the first day and the 3 days of exposure suggested that the novelty of the test fences, rather than the designs per se, influenced the behaviour of the deer. Over the course of the study, no deer crossed either C or L. Three deer crossed E and two deer crossed both W and D. On this basis, field testing, particularly of fence L, would be a useful next step. PMID:11434963

  4. Behavioural responses of red deer to fences of five different designs.

    PubMed

    Goddard, P J.; Summers, R W.; Macdonald, A J.; Murray, C; Fawcett, A R.

    2001-08-27

    Capercaillie, a large species of grouse, are sometimes killed when they fly into high-tensile deer fences. A fence design which is lower or has a less rigid top section than conventional designs would reduce bird deaths, but such fences would still have to be deer-proof. The short-term behavioural responses of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) to fences of five designs, including four that were designed to be less damaging to capercaillie, were measured. Five deer were located on one side of a fence with a larger group (20 animals), from which they had been recently separated, on the other. The efficacy of fences in preventing deer from the small group from rejoining the larger group was also recorded. In addition to a conventional deer fence (C) the four new designs were, an inverted "L" shape (L), a fence with offset electric wire (E), a double fence (D) and a fence with four webbing tapes above (W). Four replicate groups of deer were each tested for 3 days with each fence design. Deer paced the test fence line relatively frequently (a proportion of 0.09 scan observations overall) but significantly less when deer were separated by fences E or C compared to L, W or D (overall difference between fence types, P<0.001). Deer separated by fence E spent significantly more time pacing perimeter fences than deer separated by fences of other types (overall difference between fence types, P<0.01) but deer separated by fence C maintained a low level of fence pacing overall. Analysis of behaviour patterns across the first day and the 3 days of exposure suggested that the novelty of the test fences, rather than the designs per se, influenced the behaviour of the deer. Over the course of the study, no deer crossed either C or L. Three deer crossed E and two deer crossed both W and D. On this basis, field testing, particularly of fence L, would be a useful next step.

  5. Epidemiology of Sindbis virus infections in Finland 1981-96: possible factors explaining a peculiar disease pattern.

    PubMed

    Brummer-Korvenkontio, M; Vapalahti, O; Kuusisto, P; Saikku, P; Manni, T; Koskela, P; Nygren, T; Brummer-Korvenkontio, H; Vaheri, A

    2002-10-01

    Pogosta disease (PD), an epidemic rash-arthritis occurring in late summer is caused by Sindbis virus (SINV) and is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Altogether 2183 PD cases were serologically confirmed 1981-96 in Finland, with an annual incidence of 2.7/100000 (18 in the most endemic area of Northern Karelia). The annual average was 136 (varying from 1 to 1282) with epidemics occurring in August-September with a 7-year interval. Studies on 6320 patients with suspected rubella (1973-89) revealed 107 PD cases. The depth of snow cover and the temperature in May-July seemed to predict the number of cases. The morbidity was highest in 45- to 65-year-old females and lowest in children. Subclinical SINV infections were 17 times more common than the clinical ones. The SINV-antibody prevalence in fertile-age females was 0.6% in 1992; the estimated seroprevalence in Finland is about 2%. Among game animals the tetraonids (black grouse and capercaillie) had the highest seroprevalence (65%) in the epidemic year of 1981. PMID:12403109

  6. Limited indirect fitness benefits of male group membership in a lekking species.

    PubMed

    Lebigre, Christophe; Alatalo, Rauno V; Soulsbury, Carl D; Höglund, Jacob; Siitari, Heli

    2014-11-01

    In group living species, individuals may gain the indirect fitness benefits characterizing kin selection when groups contain close relatives. However, tests of kin selection have primarily focused on cooperatively breeding and eusocial species, whereas its importance in other forms of group living remains to be fully understood. Lekking is a form of grouping where males display on small aggregated territories, which females then visit to mate. As females prefer larger aggregations, territorial males might gain indirect fitness benefits if their presence increases the fitness of close relatives. Previous studies have tested specific predictions of kin selection models using measures such as group-level relatedness. However, a full understanding of the contribution of kin selection in the evolution of group living requires estimating individuals' indirect fitness benefits across multiple sites and years. Using behavioural and genetic data from the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), we show that the indirect fitness benefits of group membership were very small because newcomers joined leks containing few close relatives who had limited mating success. Males' indirect fitness benefits were higher in yearlings during increasing population density but marginally changed the variation in male mating success. Kin selection acting through increasing group size is therefore unlikely to contribute substantially to the evolution and maintenance of lekking in this black grouse population. PMID:25263625

  7. Spreading free-riding snow sports represent a novel serious threat for wildlife.

    PubMed

    Arlettaz, Raphaël; Patthey, Patrick; Baltic, Marjana; Leu, Thomas; Schaub, Michael; Palme, Rupert; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne

    2007-05-01

    Stress generated by humans on wildlife by continuous development of outdoor recreational activities is of increasing concern for biodiversity conservation. Human disturbance often adds to other negative impact factors affecting the dynamics of vulnerable populations. It is not known to which extent the rapidly spreading free-riding snow sports actually elicit detrimental stress (allostatic overload) upon wildlife, nor what the potential associated fitness and survival costs are. Using a non-invasive technique, we evaluated the physiological stress response induced by free-riding snow sports on a declining bird species of Alpine ecosystems. The results of a field experiment in which radiomonitored black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) were actively flushed from their snow burrows once a day during four consecutive days showed an increase in the concentration of faecal stress hormone (corticosterone) metabolites after disturbance. A large-scale comparative analysis across the southwestern Swiss Alps indicated that birds had higher levels of these metabolites in human-disturbed versus undisturbed habitats. Disturbance by snow sport free-riders appears to elevate stress, which potentially represents a new serious threat for wildlife. The fitness and survival costs of allostatic adjustments have yet to be estimated.

  8. Female-female aggression and female mate choice on black grouse leks.

    PubMed

    Karvonen; Rintamäki; Alatalo

    2000-05-01

    We studied female-female aggression in relation to female mate choice in black grouse, Tetrao tetrix, in central Finland, in 1994-1998. Aggression occurred on average every other minute when there was more than one female on a territory, and aggressive behaviour was most prominent when several females attended the lek. Interactions tended to be proportionally most frequent on the territories of the highest-ranking males, although not significantly so. Females that were chased by other females did not mate with lower-ranking males than their aggressors did. Furthermore, chased females were only rarely (6% of cases) forced to move off the territory by agonistic interactions and copulations were disrupted by other females even less often (3% of cases). The choice of a mating territory did not depend on the outcome of aggression even though the aggressors were more likely to mate on the territory where aggression occurred than elsewhere. There was a marginally significant tendency for aggressors to mate earlier in the season. Females placed themselves further away from other females on the territory when soliciting a copulation than just before aggression. Our results suggest that aggression between females does not effectively constrain female choice in black grouse. Its function may be to aid females to secure undisturbed mating opportunities for themselves rather than to prevent others from mating with a particular male. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  9. Virological Investigation of Avian Influenza Virus on Postglacial Species of Phasianidae and Tetraonidae in the Italian Alps

    PubMed Central

    Delogu, Mauro; Ghetti, Giulia; Gugiatti, Alessandro; Cotti, Claudia; Piredda, Isabella; Frasnelli, Matteo; De Marco, Maria A.

    2013-01-01

    Land-based birds, belonging to Galliformes order are considered to be potential intermediaries in the emergence of new strains of influenza A viruses (AIVs), but the viral circulation in these birds remains largely unknown. To gain insights into the circulation of AIV in the wild Galliformes populations in Italian Alps, we conducted a virological survey on rock partridge (Alectoris graeca saxatilis) belonging to Phasianidae family and on tetraonids including rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus helveticus) and black grouse (Tetrao tetrix tetrix). In 2003 and 2004, during the hunting seasons, 79 wild Galliformes, categorised into age and sex classes, were hunted in the Sondrio Province (Central Alps). Cloacal swabs were collected from 11 rock partridges and from 68 tetraonids including 23 alpine rock ptarmigans and 45 black grouses. We tested cloacal swabs by a high sensitive reverse transcription- (RT-) PCR detecting the matrix gene of AIV. No AIV was detected in the investigated samples, thus, suggesting the lack of AIV circulation in these relict populations in the study period. In terms of threatened species conservation, during wildlife management activities, it is very important to exclude the introduction of AIV-carrier birds in shared territories, a fact representing a health risk for these populations. PMID:24167732

  10. Spreading free-riding snow sports represent a novel serious threat for wildlife

    PubMed Central

    Arlettaz, Raphaël; Patthey, Patrick; Baltic, Marjana; Leu, Thomas; Schaub, Michael; Palme, Rupert; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne

    2007-01-01

    Stress generated by humans on wildlife by continuous development of outdoor recreational activities is of increasing concern for biodiversity conservation. Human disturbance often adds to other negative impact factors affecting the dynamics of vulnerable populations. It is not known to which extent the rapidly spreading free-riding snow sports actually elicit detrimental stress (allostatic overload) upon wildlife, nor what the potential associated fitness and survival costs are. Using a non-invasive technique, we evaluated the physiological stress response induced by free-riding snow sports on a declining bird species of Alpine ecosystems. The results of a field experiment in which radiomonitored black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) were actively flushed from their snow burrows once a day during four consecutive days showed an increase in the concentration of faecal stress hormone (corticosterone) metabolites after disturbance. A large-scale comparative analysis across the southwestern Swiss Alps indicated that birds had higher levels of these metabolites in human-disturbed versus undisturbed habitats. Disturbance by snow sport free-riders appears to elevate stress, which potentially represents a new serious threat for wildlife. The fitness and survival costs of allostatic adjustments have yet to be estimated. PMID:17341459

  11. Female choice selects for lifetime lekking performance in black grouse males

    PubMed Central

    Kokko, H.; ki, P. T. Rintam; Alatalo, R. V.; glund, J. H; Karvonen, E.; Lundberg, A.

    1999-01-01

    'Good genes' models assume that females can use a signal such as mating effort to assess a male's lifetime fitness. Inferring long-term performance from short-term behavioural observations can be unreliable, and repeated sampling may be needed for more accurate assessment of males. Additionally, if sexual advertisement is viewed as a life-history trait subject to trade-offs, reliable comparison of mates should yield information on all life-history components rather than on one trait value in one season. We show that in the lekking black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), a male's success is best explained by assuming that females are informed of the past history of males up to the beginning of the study (eight years). Much of this extremely lasting 'memory' can be attributed to females observing long-term outcomes of male–male competition: current territory position is the only momentarily observable variable that has high power in predicting female choice, and it correlates to a male's past lekking effort on a cumulative lifetime scale. We conclude that females can use territory position as a signal that conveys information of a male's lifetime performance that combines lekking effort and longevity. Females may thus overcome the problem of male allocations varying in time, without the need to pay costs associated with repeated sampling.

  12. Limited indirect fitness benefits of male group membership in a lekking species.

    PubMed

    Lebigre, Christophe; Alatalo, Rauno V; Soulsbury, Carl D; Höglund, Jacob; Siitari, Heli

    2014-11-01

    In group living species, individuals may gain the indirect fitness benefits characterizing kin selection when groups contain close relatives. However, tests of kin selection have primarily focused on cooperatively breeding and eusocial species, whereas its importance in other forms of group living remains to be fully understood. Lekking is a form of grouping where males display on small aggregated territories, which females then visit to mate. As females prefer larger aggregations, territorial males might gain indirect fitness benefits if their presence increases the fitness of close relatives. Previous studies have tested specific predictions of kin selection models using measures such as group-level relatedness. However, a full understanding of the contribution of kin selection in the evolution of group living requires estimating individuals' indirect fitness benefits across multiple sites and years. Using behavioural and genetic data from the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), we show that the indirect fitness benefits of group membership were very small because newcomers joined leks containing few close relatives who had limited mating success. Males' indirect fitness benefits were higher in yearlings during increasing population density but marginally changed the variation in male mating success. Kin selection acting through increasing group size is therefore unlikely to contribute substantially to the evolution and maintenance of lekking in this black grouse population.

  13. Scenario-Led Habitat Modelling of Land Use Change Impacts on Key Species

    PubMed Central

    Geary, Matthew; Fielding, Alan H.; McGowan, Philip J. K.; Marsden, Stuart J.

    2015-01-01

    Accurate predictions of the impacts of future land use change on species of conservation concern can help to inform policy-makers and improve conservation measures. If predictions are spatially explicit, predicted consequences of likely land use changes could be accessible to land managers at a scale relevant to their working landscape. We introduce a method, based on open source software, which integrates habitat suitability modelling with scenario-building, and illustrate its use by investigating the effects of alternative land use change scenarios on landscape suitability for black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Expert opinion was used to construct five near-future (twenty years) scenarios for the 800 km2 study site in upland Scotland. For each scenario, the cover of different land use types was altered by 5–30% from 20 random starting locations and changes in habitat suitability assessed by projecting a MaxEnt suitability model onto each simulated landscape. A scenario converting grazed land to moorland and open forestry was the most beneficial for black grouse, and ‘increased grazing’ (the opposite conversion) the most detrimental. Positioning of new landscape blocks was shown to be important in some situations. Increasing the area of open-canopy forestry caused a proportional decrease in suitability, but suitability gains for the ‘reduced grazing’ scenario were nonlinear. ‘Scenario-led’ landscape simulation models can be applied in assessments of the impacts of land use change both on individual species and also on diversity and community measures, or ecosystem services. A next step would be to include landscape configuration more explicitly in the simulation models, both to make them more realistic, and to examine the effects of habitat placement more thoroughly. In this example, the recommended policy would be incentives on grazing reduction to benefit black grouse. PMID:26569604

  14. Where to Combat Shrub Encroachment in Alpine Timberline Ecosystems: Combining Remotely-Sensed Vegetation Information with Species Habitat Modelling

    PubMed Central

    Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    In many cultural landscapes, the abandonment of traditional grazing leads to encroachment of pastures by woody plants, which reduces habitat heterogeneity and impacts biodiversity typical of semi-open habitats. We developed a framework of mutually interacting spatial models to locate areas where shrub encroachment in Alpine treeline ecosystems deteriorates vulnerable species’ habitat, using black grouse Tetrao tetrix (L.) in the Swiss Alps as a study model. Combining field observations and remote-sensing information we 1) identified and located the six predominant treeline vegetation types; 2) modelled current black grouse breeding habitat as a function thereof so as to derive optimal habitat profiles; 3) simulated from these profiles the theoretical spatial extension of breeding habitat when assuming optimal vegetation conditions throughout; and used the discrepancy between (2) and (3) to 4) locate major aggregations of homogeneous shrub vegetation in otherwise suitable breeding habitat as priority sites for habitat restoration. All six vegetation types (alpine pasture, coniferous forest, Alnus viridis (Chaix), Rhododendron-dominated, Juniperus-dominated and mixed heathland) were predicted with high accuracy (AUC >0.9). Breeding black grouse preferred a heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation types, with none exceeding 50% cover. While 15% of the timberline belt currently offered suitable breeding habitat, twice that fraction (29%) would potentially be suitable when assuming optimal shrub and ground vegetation conditions throughout the study area. Yet, only 10% of this difference was attributed to habitat deterioration by shrub-encroachment of dense heathland (all types 5.2%) and Alnus viridis (4.8%). The presented method provides both a general, large-scale assessment of areas covered by dense shrub vegetation as well as specific target values and priority areas for habitat restoration related to a selected target organism. This facilitates optimizing the spatial

  15. Impact of transient climate change upon Grouse population dynamics in the Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirovano, Andrea; Bocchiola, Daniele

    2010-05-01

    Understanding the effect of short to medium term weather condition, and of transient global warming upon wildlife species life history is essential to predict the demographic consequences therein, and possibly develop adaptation strategies, especially in game species, where hunting mortality may play an important role in population dynamics. We carried out a preliminary investigation of observed impact of weather variables upon population dynamics indexes of three alpine Grouse species (i.e. Rock Ptarmigan, Lagopus Mutus, Black Grouse, Tetrao Tetrix, Rock Partridge, Alectoris Graeca), nested within central Italian Alps, based upon 15 years (1995-2009) of available censuses data, provided by the Sondrio Province authority. We used a set of climate variables already highlighted within recent literature for carrying considerable bearing on Grouse population dynamics, including e.g. temperature at hatching time and during winter, snow cover at nesting, and precipitation during nursing period. We then developed models of Grouses' population dynamics by explicitly driving population change according to their dependence upon the significant weather variables and population density and we evaluated objective indexes to assess the so obtained predictive power. Eventually, we develop projection of future local climate, based upon locally derived trends, and upon projections from GCMs (A2 IPCC storyline) already validated for the area, to project forward in time (until 2100 or so) the significant climatic variables, which we then use to force population dynamics models of the target species. The projected patterns obtained through this exercise are discussed and compared against those expected under stationary climate conditions at present, and preliminary conclusions are drawn.

  16. Assessment of doses to game animals in Finland.

    PubMed

    Vetikko, Virve; Kostiainen, Eila

    2013-11-01

    A study was carried out to assess the dose rates to game animals in Finland affected by the radioactive caesium deposition that occurred after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine in 1986. The aim of this assessment was to obtain new information on the dose rates to mammals and birds under Finnish conditions. Dose rates were calculated using the ERICA Assessment Tool developed within the EC 6th Framework Programme. The input data consisted of measured activity concentrations of (137)Cs and (134)Cs in soil and lake water samples and in flesh samples of selected animal species obtained for environmental monitoring. The study sites were located in the municipality of Lammi, Southern Finland, where the average (137)Cs deposition was 46.5 kBq m(-2) (1 October 1987). The study sites represented the areas receiving the highest deposition in Finland after the Chernobyl accident. The selected species included moose (Alces alces), arctic hare (Lepus timidus) and several bird species: black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), hazel hen (Bonasia bonasia), mallard (Anas platurhynchos), goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) and teal (Anas crecca). For moose, dose rates were calculated for the years 1986-1990 and for the 2000s. For all other species, maximal measured activity concentrations were used. The results showed that the dose rates to these species did not exceed the default screening level of 10 μGy h(-1) used as a protection criterion. The highest total dose rate (internal and external summed), 3.7 μGy h(-1), was observed for the arctic hare in 1986. Although the dose rate of 3.7 μGy h(-1) cannot be considered negligible given the uncertainties involved in predicting the dose rates, the possible harmful effects related to this dose rate are too small to be assessed based on current knowledge on the biological effects of low doses in mammals.

  17. Guardian or threat: does golden eagle predation risk have cascading effects on forest grouse?

    PubMed

    Lyly, Mari S; Villers, Alexandre; Koivisto, Elina; Helle, Pekka; Ollila, Tuomo; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2016-10-01

    Previous studies on intraguild predation have mainly focused on within-class assemblages, even though avian top predators may also influence mammalian mesopredator prey. By using nation-wide long-term data from Finland, northern Europe, we examined the impacts of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) together with red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and pine martens (Martes martes) on forest-dwelling herbivores, black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) and hazel grouse (Tetrastes bonasia). We hypothesized that eagles may alleviate the overall predation pressure on grouse by imposing intraguild predation risk on mesopredators. The predation impact of eagle was modelled using eagle density estimates and distance to eagle nest. Wildlife triangle counts were used as predation impact proxies of mammalian mesopredators and as measures of response in grouse. Our results show that eagle density correlated negatively with black grouse abundance indices while being positively associated with the proportion of juveniles in both grouse species, irrespective of the abundance of mesopredators. Yet, foxes and martens alone had a negative effect on the abundance indices and the proportion of young in the two grouse species. This suggests that the possible cascading effects of eagles are not mediated by decreased mesopredator numbers, but instead by fear effects. Alternatively, they may be mediated by other species than fox or marten studied here. In conclusion, we found support for the hypothesis that eagles provide protection for juvenile black and hazel grouse, whereas they are a threat for adult grouse. This important information helps us to better understand the role of avian top predators in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:27342659

  18. Scenario-Led Habitat Modelling of Land Use Change Impacts on Key Species.

    PubMed

    Geary, Matthew; Fielding, Alan H; McGowan, Philip J K; Marsden, Stuart J

    2015-01-01

    Accurate predictions of the impacts of future land use change on species of conservation concern can help to inform policy-makers and improve conservation measures. If predictions are spatially explicit, predicted consequences of likely land use changes could be accessible to land managers at a scale relevant to their working landscape. We introduce a method, based on open source software, which integrates habitat suitability modelling with scenario-building, and illustrate its use by investigating the effects of alternative land use change scenarios on landscape suitability for black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Expert opinion was used to construct five near-future (twenty years) scenarios for the 800 km2 study site in upland Scotland. For each scenario, the cover of different land use types was altered by 5-30% from 20 random starting locations and changes in habitat suitability assessed by projecting a MaxEnt suitability model onto each simulated landscape. A scenario converting grazed land to moorland and open forestry was the most beneficial for black grouse, and 'increased grazing' (the opposite conversion) the most detrimental. Positioning of new landscape blocks was shown to be important in some situations. Increasing the area of open-canopy forestry caused a proportional decrease in suitability, but suitability gains for the 'reduced grazing' scenario were nonlinear. 'Scenario-led' landscape simulation models can be applied in assessments of the impacts of land use change both on individual species and also on diversity and community measures, or ecosystem services. A next step would be to include landscape configuration more explicitly in the simulation models, both to make them more realistic, and to examine the effects of habitat placement more thoroughly. In this example, the recommended policy would be incentives on grazing reduction to benefit black grouse.

  19. Genotyping of black grouse MHC class II B using reference Strand-Mediated Conformational Analysis (RSCA)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a cluster of genes involved in the vertebrate immune system and includes loci with an extraordinary number of alleles. Due to the complex evolution of MHC genes, alleles from different loci within the same MHC class can be very similar and therefore difficult to assign to separate loci. Consequently, single locus amplification of MHC genes is hard to carry out in species with recently duplicated genes in the same MHC class, and multiple MHC loci have to be genotyped simultaneously. Since amplified alleles have the same length, accurate genotyping is difficult. Reference Strand-Mediated Conformational Analysis (RSCA), which is increasingly used in studies of natural populations with multiple MHC genes, is a genotyping method capable to provide high resolution and accuracy in such cases. Findings We adapted the RSCA method to genotype multiple MHC class II B (BLB) genes in black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), a non-model galliform bird species, using a 96-Capillary Array Electrophoresis, the MegaBACE™ 1000 DNA Analysing System (GE Healthcare). In this study we used fluorescently labelled reference strands from both black grouse and hazel grouse and observed good agreement between RSCA and cloning/sequencing since 71 alleles were observed by cloning/sequencing and 76 alleles by RSCA among the 24 individuals included in the comparison. At the individual level however, there was a trend towards more alleles scored with RSCA (1-6 per individual) than cloning/sequencing (1-4 per individual). In 63% of the pair-wise comparison, the identical allele was scored in RSCA as in cloning/sequencing. Nine out of 24 individuals had the same number of alleles in RSCA as in cloning/sequencing. Our RSCA protocol allows a faster RSCA genotyping than presented in many other RSCA studies. Conclusions In this study, we have developed the RSCA typing method further to work on a 96-Capillary Array Electrophoresis (MegaBACE™ 1000). Our

  20. Spatially explicit modeling of conflict zones between wildlife and snow sports: prioritizing areas for winter refuges.

    PubMed

    Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2011-04-01

    Outdoor winter recreation exerts an increasing pressure upon mountain ecosystems, with unpredictable, free-ranging activities (e.g., ski mountaineering, snowboarding, and snowshoeing) representing a major source of stress for wildlife. Mitigating anthropogenic disturbance requires the spatially explicit prediction of the interference between the activities of humans and wildlife. We applied spatial modeling to localize conflict zones between wintering Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix), a declining species of Alpine timberline ecosystems, and two free-ranging winter sports (off-piste skiing [including snow-boarding] and snowshoeing). Track data (snow-sports and birds' traces) obtained from aerial photographs taken over a 585-km transect running along the timberline, implemented within a maximum entropy model, were used to predict the occurrence of snow sports and Black Grouse as a function of landscape characteristics. By modeling Black Grouse presence in the theoretical absence of free-ranging activities and ski infrastructure, we first estimated the amount of habitat reduction caused by these two factors. The models were then extrapolated to the altitudinal range occupied by Black Grouse, while the spatial extent and intensity of potential conflict were assessed by calculating the probability of human-wildlife co-occurrence. The two snow-sports showed different distribution patterns. Skiers' occurrence was mainly determined by ski-lift presence and a smooth terrain, while snowshoers' occurrence was linked to hiking or skiing routes and moderate slopes. Wintering Black Grouse avoided ski lifts and areas frequented by free-ranging snow sports. According to the models, Black Grouse have faced a substantial reduction of suitable wintering habitat along the timberline transect: 12% due to ski infrastructure and another 16% when adding free-ranging activities. Extrapolating the models over the whole study area results in an overall habitat loss due to ski infrastructure of