Developing a quantitative hunting regionalization framework: A new game management tool

C. Antonio Rios-Saldaña, Miguel A. Farfán, Francisca Castro, Mario Vargas, Rafael Villafuerte


Aim of study: Monitoring and control the hunting activity is primordial to guarantee its sustainability. However, the governmental agencies responsible to manage hunting commonly are unable to adequately do this job because the thousands of small private hunting states, associated exclusively by political-administrative criteria. In this work, we provided a new management tool through the establishment of a hunting regions system.

Area of study: Castilla-La Mancha region, central Spain.

Material and methods: We used a two-stage procedure to establish the environmental units than, afterwards, were characterized on a set of hunting variables.

Main results: We generate a hunting regionalization with 12 hunting regions and proposed regional hunting yields for each of the hunting regions.

Research highlights: The use of hunting regions will permit to define the game management practices more appropriately on a large scale, but also, will facilitate the tasks of assessment, management and monitoring of game of the number hunting states included in each hunting region.


wildlife management; Technical Hunting Plan; conservation; ecoregionalization; hunting yields

Full Text:



Barbosa AM, Real R, Olivero J, Vargas JM, 2003. Otter (Lutra lutra) distribution modelling at two resolution scales suited to conservation planning in the Iberian Peninsula. Biol Conserv 114: 377-387.

Blanco-Aguiar JA, Delibes-Mateos M, Arroyo B et al., 2012. Is the interaction between rabbit hemorrhagic disease and hyperpredation by raptors a major cause of the red-legged partridge decline in Spain? Eur J Wildl Res 58: 433-439.

Brown CD, Davis HT, 2006. Receiver operating characteristics curves and related decision measures: A tutorial. Chemom Intell Lab Syst 80: 24-38.

Caprio E, Chamberlain DE, Isaia M, Rolando A, 2011. Landscape changes caused by high altitude ski-pistes affect bird species richness and distribution in the Alps. Biol Conserv 144: 2958-2967.

Caro J, Delibes-Mateos M, Vicente J, Arroyo B, 2014. A quantitative assessment of the release of farm-reared red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) for shooting in central Spain. Eur J Wildl Res 60: 919-926.

Caro J, Delibes-Mateos M, Viñuela J et al., 2015. Improving decision-making for sustainable hunting: regulatory mechanisms of hunting pressure in red-legged partridge. Sustain Sci 10: 479-489.

Caro TM, Young TM, Cauldwell AE, Brown DDE, 2009. Animal breeding systems and big game hunting: Models and application. Biol Conserv 142: 909-929.

Cattadori IM, Haydon DT, Thirgood SJ, Hudson PJ, 2003. Are indirect measures of abundance a useful index of population density? The case of red grouse harvesting. Oikos 100: 439-446.

Coltman DW, O'Donoghue P, Jorgenson JT et al., 2003. Undesirable evolutionary consequences of trophy hunting. Nature 426: 655-658.

Delibes M, Palomo LJ, 2007. Atlas de los mamíferos terrestres de España. In: Atlas y libro rojo de los mamíferos terrestres de España; Palomo LJ & Gisbert J (eds). Dirección General para la Biodiversidad-SECEM-SECEMU, Madrid, pp: 35-56.

Delibes-Mateos M, Farfán MA, Olivero J et al., 2009. Long-term changes in game species over a long period of transformation in the Iberian Mediterranean landscape. Environ Manage 43: 1256-1268.

DOCM, 1996. Decree 141/1996, of 20 December, which approves the general regulation of Hunting Law of Castilla-La Mancha. Diario Oficial Castilla-La Mancha No. 57, 20/12/96.

Eastman JR, 2001. Idrisi 32. Guide to GIS and Image Processing. Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA.

Elith J, Graham CH, 2009. Do they? How do they? WHY do they differ? On finding reasons for differing performances of species distribution models. Ecography 32:66-77.

Estrada A, Delibes-Mateos M, Caro J et al., 2015. Does small-game management benefit steppe birds of conservation concern? A field study in central Spain. Anim Conserv 18: 567-575.

FACE, 2016. Hunting in Europe is worth 16 billion Euros. [12 March 2017].

Farfán MA, Vargas JM, Guerrero JC et al., 2008. Distribution modelling of wild rabbit hunting yields in its original area (S Iberian Peninsula). Ital J Zool 75: 161-172.

Fernández Alés R, Alés EE, Martín A, Ortega F, 1992. Recent changes in landscape structure and function in a Mediterranean region of SW Spain (1950-1984). Landsc Ecol 7: 3-18.

Fielding AH, Bell JF, 1997. A review of methods for the assessment of prediction errors in conservation presence/absence models. Environ Conserv 24: 38-49.

Fischer A, Sandström C, Delibes-Mateos M et al., 2012. On the multifunctionality of hunting - An institutional analysis of eight cases from Europe and Africa. J Environ Plan Manag 44: 1-43.

Fletcher K, Aebischer NJ, Baines D et al., 2010. Changes in breeding success and abundance of ground-nesting moorland birds in relation to the experimental deployment of legal predator control. J Appl Ecol 47: 263-272.

Font I, 1983. Atlas climático de España. Instituto Nacional de Meteorología, Madrid.

Fragoso JM V, Levi T, Oliveira LFB et al., 2016. Line transect surveys underdetect terrestrial mammals: Implications for the sustainability of subsistence hunting. PLoS One 11: 1-18.

Gálvez MR, 2004. Régimen jurídico de la actividad cinegética en España: Análisis de las disposiciones autonómicas e intervención pública. Doctoral thesis. Universidad de Málaga, Málaga.

GLR, 2003. Ordenación cinegética y comarcalización de la caza menor en La Rioja. Gobierno de La Rioja.

Hosmer DW, Lemeshow S, 2000. Applied logistic regression‎, 2nd edn. John Wiley & Sons.

Jerozolimski A, Peres CA, 2003. Bringing home the biggest bacon: a cross-site analysis of the structure of hunter-kill profiles in Neotropical forests. Biol Conserv 111: 415-425.

Kilpatrick HJ, Labonte AM, Barclay JS, 2005. Factors affecting harvest-reporting rates for white-tailed deer. Wildl Soc Bull 33: 974-980.[974:FAHRFW]2.0.CO;2

Lechner AM, McCaffrey N, McKenna P et al., 2016. Ecoregionalization classification of wetlands based on a cluster analysis of environmental data. Appl Veg Sci 19: 724-735.

Lobo JM, Jiménez-Valverde A, Real R, 2008. AUC: A misleading measure of the performance of predictive distribution models. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 17: 145-151.

Loveland TR, Merchant JM, 2004. Ecoregions and ecoregionalization: geographical and ecological perspectives. Environ Manage 34: S1-S13.

MAGRAMA, 2015. Anuario de Estadística. Avance 2015. Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, Gobierno de España.

Manel S, Williams C, Ormerod SJ, 2001. Evaluating presence-absence models in ecology: the need to account for prevalence. J Appl Ecol 38: 921-931.

Milligan GW, 1980. An examination of the effect of six types of error perturbation on fifteen clustering algorithms. Psychometrika 45: 325-342.

Montero de Burgos JL, González-Rebollar JL, 1974. Diagramas bioclimáticos. ICONA, Madrid.

Mustin K, Newey S, Irvine J et al., 2011. Biodiversity impacts of game bird hunting and associated management practices in Europe and North America. RSPB report.

Perea R, Girardello M, San Miguel A, 2014. Big game or big loss? High deer densities are threatening woody plant diversity and vegetation dynamics. Biodivers Conserv 23: 1303-1318.

Piédrola G, 2003. Medicina preventiva y salud pública, 10th edn. Elsevier España.

Pons B (ed), 2011. Atlas de los paisajes de Castilla-La Mancha. Ediciones de la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real.

Price SA, Gittleman JL, 2007. Hunting to extinction: biology and regional economy influence extinction risk and the impact of hunting in artiodactyls. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 274: 1845-1851.

Punj G, Stewart DW, 1983. Cluster analysis in marketing research: Review and suggestions for application. J Mark Res 20: 134-148.

Ríos-Saldaña CA, 2010. Los planes técnicos de caza de Castilla-La Mancha y su aplicación en la gestión y conservación de las especies cinegéticas. Doctoral thesis. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha. Ciudad Real.

Ríos-Saldaña CA, Delibes-Mateos M, Castro F et al., 2013. Control of the European rabbit in central Spain. Eur J Wildl Res 59: 573-580.

Rueda M, Rodríguez MÁ, Hawkins B, 2010. Towards a biogeographic regionalization of the European biota. J Biogeogr 37: 2067-2076.

Santangeli A, Hanski IK, Mäkelä H, 2013. Integrating multi-source forest inventory and animal survey data to assess nationwide distribution and habitat correlates of the Siberian flying squirrel. Biol Conserv 157: 31-38.

Santika T, 2011. Assessing the effect of prevalence on the predictive performance of species distribution models using simulated data. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 20: 181-192.

Selier S-AJ, Page BR, Vanak AT, Slotow R, 2014. Sustainability of elephant hunting across international borders in southern Africa: A case study of the greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. J Wildl Manage 78: 122-132.

Shanley CS, Kofinas GP, Pyare S, 2013. Balancing the conservation of wildlife habitat with subsistence hunting access: A geospatial-scenario planning framework. Landsc Urban Plan 115: 10-17.

Shannon CE, 1949. The mathematical theory of communication. In: The mathematical theory of communication; Shannon CE & Weaver W (eds). University of Illinois Press, Urbana, pp: 29-125.

SIMA (Sistema de Información Municipal de Andalucía), 1996. Instituto Estadístico de Andalucía (IEA). Junta de Andalucía.

Stow CA, Jolliff J, McGillicuddy Jr DJ et al., 2009. Skill assessment for coupled biological/physical models of marine systems. J Mar Syst 76: 4-15.

Swallow WH, Kianifard F, 1996. Using robust scale estimates in detecting multiple outliers in linear regression. Biometrics 52: 545-556.

Swets JA, 1988. Measuring the accuracy of diagnostic systems. Science 240: 1285-1293.

Torres-Porras J, Carranza J, Pérez-González J et al., 2014. The tragedy of the commons: Unsustainable population structure of Iberian red deer in hunting estates. Eur J Wildl Res 60: 351-357.

US. Geological Survey, 1996. GTOPO30. Land Processes Distributed Archive Center.

Vargas JM, 1997. Gestión de la caza en la comarca de la Axarquía (Málaga). In: Axarquía viva. Historia natural de la comarca. Desarrollo y medio ambiente; Fernández-Llébrez P (ed). Servicio de Publicaciones e Intercambio Científico de la Universidad de Málaga, Málaga, pp: 167-190.

Vargas JM, Farfán MA, Guerrero JC, 2006a. Comarcalización cinegética a escala regional: la experiencia piloto de Andalucía (Sur de España). Ecología 20: 415-434.

Vargas JM, Guerrero JC, Farfán MA et al., 2006b. Land use and environmental factors affecting red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) hunting yields in Southern Spain. Eur J Wildl Res 52: 188-195.

Vargas JM, Farfán MA, Guerrero JC et al., 2007. Geographical and environmental correlates of big and small game in Andalusia (southern Spain). Wildl Res 34: 498-506.

Vasconcelos TDS, Rodríguez MÁ, Hawkins BA, 2011. Biogeographic distribution patterns of south american amphibians: A regionalization based on cluster analysis. Nat Conserv 9: 67-72.

DOI: 10.5424/fs/2018272-12382