BUNDESJAGDGESETZ 2013 PDF
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Conceived and designed the experiments: The Bohemian Forest Ecosystem encompasses various wildlife management systems. Two large, contiguous national parks one in Germany and one in the Czech Republic form the centre of the area, are surrounded by private hunting grounds, and hunting regulations in each country differ. Here we aimed at unravelling the influence of management-related and environmental factors on the distribution of red deer Cervus elaphus and roe deer Capreolus capreolus in this ecosystem.
We used the standing crop bundeesjagdgesetz based on counts of pellet groups, with point counts every m along randomly distributed transects. Bundesjagdgesez analysis, which accounted for bunresjagdgesetz as well as zero inflation and spatial autocorrelation, corroborated the view that both human management and the physical and biological environment drive ungulate distribution in mountainous areas in Central Europe. In contrast to our expectations, protection by national parks was the least important variable for red deer and the third important out of four variables for roe deer; protection negatively influenced roe deer distribution in both parks and positively influenced red deer distribution in Germany.
Country was the most influential variable for both red and roe deer, with higher counts of pellet groups in the Czech Republic than in Germany. Elevation, which indicates increasing environmental harshness, was the second most important variable for both species.
Our results have direct implications for the future conservation management of deer in protected areas in Central Europe and show in particular bundesjagdgexetz large non-intervention zones may not cause agglomerations of deer that could lead to conflicts along the border of protected, mountainous areas. The increasing human population combined with an increasing standard of living in many parts of the world have resulted in an increased exploitation of nature [ 1 ].
The natural areas that are left, such as protected national parks, can be seen as habitat islands in cultural landscapes, but are usually too small to accommodate all relevant ecological processes within park boundaries [ 2 — 5 ]. Most national parks are not large enough to sustain viable populations of large mammals, particularly those that engage in seasonal migration behaviour [ 6 — 8 ].
As a result, such animals also utilize landscapes surrounding protected areas. This could lead to conflicts as management objectives inside and outside protected areas can differ considerably. Inside national parks, the guiding principle is often the protection of ecological processes natural process managementwhereas outside the parks, management typically aims at optimizing recreational opportunities for hunters while minimizing complaints from farmers and foresters [ 10 ].
One likely cause of conflict outside protected areas could be high mammal densities inside protected areas [ 11 — 14 ]. Population measures, such as density or reproduction, are influenced by both the physical and biological environment as well as buhdesjagdgesetz human activities.
Deer habitat selection is strongly determined by the presence of food and cover, both of which are correlated with forest bundesjagdegsetz [ 15 — 17 ]; so too are ungulate bundesjagdgesrtz and forest structure [ 18 ]. Therefore, Gill, Johnson [ 19 ] suggest that forested areas may be one of the main factors that determine ungulate distribution.
Variation in altitude has a major influence on local climate in mountainous environments, which is characterized by high precipitation, generally lower temperatures and long periods of snow coverage. High snow packs especially limit access to food and increase the energy needed for movement [ 172021 ].
An important adaptation strategy of the animals is to migrate away from these climatic conditions towards lower elevations with less snow cover [ 722 ]. Human conflicts with wildlife throughout Europe and North America often involve deer species owing to the dramatic increase in their populations over the last century [ 23 — 25 ]. This development was initially regarded positively, but opinion changed when overabundance led to a high economic impact because of bark peeling and increased browsing on forest vegetation and arable crops.
As a consequence, ungulates attained an ambivalent status in society—watching or hunting the animals provides recreational pleasure, yet the animals are regarded as pests that cause considerable damage to agricultural fields and forests [ 26 ].
Hunting can be a key management factor for regulating deer populations and their spatial distribution in the landscape [ 27 — 29 ].
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But whether hunting is effective strongly depends on local hunting regulations, philosophy, or hunter effort [ 30 ]. Even if the general objectives of hunting laws across Europe are similar, in practice, these laws can differ among countries because of differences in the regulation details and enforcement [ 31 ].
Therefore, it can be expected that across country borders, the outcome of wildlife management could differ greatly, even in the same ecosystem, bundfsjagdgesetz in different densities and distributions of the hunted animals. Here we aimed at bkndesjagdgesetz the effects of environmental variables and differences in management on the distribution of red deer Cervus elaphus and roe deer Capreolus capreolus in a Central European low mountain range, the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem. Using pellet counts, bundesagdgesetz specifically tested our predictions that relative distributional differences of red deer and roe deer are higher in the national parks, because of higher protection standards, higher in the Czech Republic due to a hunting policy that promotes high deer densities, and higher in the valleys since the animals leave the high ridges in winter.
Additionally, we assume that red deer densities are higher in areas with more forest cover that provide protection from hunting, and roe deer densities are higher in areas with medium forest cover because of a trade-off between food availability and cover.
The Bohemian Forest Ecosystem consists of a low, forested mountain chain approximately km long and 60 km wide, situated along the border between Bavaria Germanythe Czech Republic, and Austria. Elevation ranges from m a. The climate is continental with some maritime influence from the west, with an annual precipitation varying from bunndesjagdgesetz to 2, mm. Permanent snow cover lasts up to 7 months on the mountain tops October to May and 5 months in the valleys November to April.
The national parks are mostly forested, while their rural surroundings consist of smaller forests, meadows, arable land and villages. Roe deer, red deer and wild boar Sus scrofa are widely distributed in the area, while moose Alces alces is found only in small numbers in the southern part.
The only large predator is Eurasian lynx Lynx lynxwhich was reintroduced in the s and s [ 32 ]. At present, this lynx population is stagnant [ 33 ].
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Lynx prey mainly on roe deer and to a much lesser extent on red deer [ 34 ]. The entire study area covered 3, km 2 Fig. The locations of the national parks and transects used for pellet group counting are shown.
The priorities of game management in Bavaria and the Czech Republic considerably differ. Bavaria focuses on the natural regeneration of forests, and the Czech Republic focuses more on hunting.
In Bavaria, hunting, forestry, and state forest law, natural forest regeneration has priority over wildlife.
Bundesjagdgesetz : Marcus Schuck :
The aim is to change the silvicultural system towards near-natural forests, with a shift from coniferous forest to mixed forest that relies on natural forest regeneration. Therefore, ungulate densities have to be kept at a level that allows natural regeneration of the main tree species without protective measures [ 3536 ].
The traditional ungulate census was shown to be inaccurate and was replaced by state-wide regeneration surveys every three years, which now are the foundation for setting hunting quotas [ 27 ]. In Germany, hunters have to pay compensation to landowners for damage caused by ungulates, and landowners are sensitized bundedjagdgesetz such damage [ 37 ].
In the Czech Republic, management objectives are formulated in the Game Management Act for the bundesjxgdgesetz of sustainable numbers of game, prevention of bundesjagdgdsetz, maintenance of game quality and genetic purity. The hunting ground user is responsible for controlling game numbers and damage compensation.
Wildlife management is hunter dominated and traditional, with selective hunting of old and sick animals, underdeveloped young and trophy animals.
The hunting bundeesjagdgesetz are based on a visual survey bundesjagdgdsetz by the hunters in spring without any monitoring of wildlife impact on the environment [ 38 ]. Since compensation for damages in forestry and crop production by the hunting ground users is rarely claimed or paid, hunters are not pressured to limit deer numbers [ 38 ].
Outside the national parks on both sides of the border, regular hunting and intense winter feeding occurs. In contrast, in the national parks the principal aim is to reduce intervention as much as possible. A roe deer non-intervention zone bundesjagdgestez 89, ha has been established, and no winter feeding takes place. Red deer have a continuous non-intervention zone comprising 23, ha, but in winter, the animals are fed within the parks in enclosures [ 29 ]. In Germany, the range of red deer outside the park is restricted by law.
Animals are not allowed to migrate to their natural winter habitat because these areas are outside the designated red deer management area. Therefore, in the s, the national park managers constructed four winter enclosures encompassing a 30—50 ha fenced area with a central feeding 20013.
After the rutting period in October when the first snow falls, red deer move to the enclosures. Animals arriving later are trapped in small pre-enclosures less than 2 haand this entire group is then either led to the main enclosures for the winter or culled.
Eighty per cent of 20113 red deer are killed in this way. In the beginning of May after the flush of ground vegetation, the enclosures are opened. The purpose of this management measure is to compensate for the restricted winter habitat, to simulate the winter absence of the species in the montane forest, and to control the population [ 3940 ].
About two-thirds of the red bundesjagdgesegz herd overwinter in the enclosures. Outside of the parks, landowner permission was obtained. We confirm that the field studies did not involve endangered or protected species. There was no approval by an animal ethics committee necessary, bundesjaagdgesetz sampling was not invasive and did not disturb animals.
We examined the spatial distribution patterns of red deer and roe deer using the standing crop count method based on counts of pellet groups. We sampled the study area bundesjagdgeestz circular plots along triangular transects bundesjagdgesezt 1741 ]; randomly distributed triangular transects were set up, with a minimum target distance between transect centres of 1, m Fig.
Every m, a plot with a radius of 1. Transects were not sampled when the start location was not accessible or when the transect was located within a village. No transect was located in a winter enclosure. Pellet groups were counted only if the group had at least two pellets. If a pellet group was lying on the plot border, the count was included only if at least two pellets were within the plot.
Red deer and roe deer pellets bundrsjagdgesetz differentiated nundesjagdgesetz their size roe deer pellets are half the size of red deer pellets and shape roe deer pellets are rounder.
The survey was conducted following snow melt, between 7 April and 12 Maystarting at lower elevations bundesjafdgesetz 42 — 45 ]. To obtain an indicative estimate of pellet decay rates, we exposed 24 pellet groups of each species on four different dates 30 April, 25 June, 20 August, 20 October The exposed pellet groups were checked every two weeks from April to October and once in April For each transect, the fraction of land cover classified as forest or as human dominated was calculated within a buffer zone of m around the transect centre.
In addition, we used the following explanatory variables: In the analysis, bundesjagdgeseta transects were used as sample units; pellet groups found per plot within transects were summed for each species.
The number of pellets was modelled for each species separately. As explanatory variables, we included the two categorical variables country and national park as well as their interaction; the continuous explanatory variables fraction of forest cover within a m buffer zone and elevation were included with quadratic terms. For each species, we followed the same modelling strategy.
All models accounted for overdispersion by using a negative binomial family. First, we investigated whether accounting for zero inflation improved model performance as measured by AIC.
We compared four models, each with the same model structure for the count data, i. Models where the zero inflation was modelled with country and national park, with or without interaction term, did not converge.
If significant spatial autocorrelation was found, we accounted for this by using generalized linear mixed models with an exponential spatial correlation structure, i. For this, all transects were assigned to the same group, i. Third, explanatory variables were selected using backward stepwise selection with AIC as selection criterion.
Variable importance was assessed with a randomization procedure [ 49 ]. Each explanatory variable in turn was randomized times, and for each randomization a model prediction of the pellet counts was made.
The raw importance value for each explanatory variable was calculated as one minus the mean correlation between predicted pellet counts using the original and the randomized explanatory variables.