3 years ago

Linking annual variations of roe deer bag records to large-scale winter conditions: spatio-temporal development in Europe between 1961 and 2013

Marc Hanewinkel, Robert Hagen, Stephanie Kramer-Schadt, Marco Heurich, Ilse Storch

Abstract

Synchrony in bag records over large spatio-temporal scales point to factors acting simultaneously on population size. In this manuscript, we analysed time series of annual roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) bag records for 17 European countries for the time span 1961–2013. Even though a synchronous increase in bag records was identified in 14 of 17 countries between 1986 and 1992, bag records were not synchronised at the European level. We detected a significant positive correlation between the North Atlantic Oscillation winter index (December–March) and annual changes in roe deer bag records for Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. Further time-series analyses revealed a significant lag length (L) in 13 of 17 time series on roe deer bag records which highlights that the number of bagged deer in year t was significantly correlated to the number of bagged deer in year t + L (negative association). We conclude that large-scale environmental variations or human-induced changes will not only induce periodic fluctuations in wildlife populations but also in wildlife harvest. By incorporating the knowledge about population dynamics of large herbivores into management concepts, wildlife management will not only decrease the chances of serious pitfalls but also optimise measures for population control and conservation.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10344-017-1155-9

DOI: 10.1007/s10344-017-1155-9

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