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tom 160
nr 10
Study on variability of the spring and autumn density and habitat preferences of brown hare in the Lublin Upland (eastern Poland) was carried out in 2006−2015. The hunting acquisition of hare was suspended in this district during the research. The research methodology was based on the inventory of hare made by means of the strip taxation in spring and autumn. Monitoring of habitats, where individual animals lived, was also performed during each inventory. The habitats were divided into three groups (arable land, winter cereals, and barrens). Based on the share of particular habitats we determined the rate of habitat preferences. The impact of habitat on the density of hares was assessed with χ² test. Substantial difference in the spring and autumn level of hare population density was observed during the study period. In general the autumn density was lower (fig. 1, tab. 2). The obtained population density rate showed an upward trend both in spring (y=0.3073 · x+9.14; R²=0.0855) and in autumn (y=0.5655 · x+5.4; R²=0.5657). These results confirm the continued increase of hare populations, pointing that hunting exploitation is not the primary factor limiting the hare number. Regardless of the study period, hares most preferred the mid−field lands excluded from agricultural production, overgrown with wild vegetation, generally classified as barrens. We found significant impact of habitat on the level of the spring (χ²=11.317, p=0.004) as well as autumn (χ²=14.908, p=0.001) population density. Presented results support the necessity of a multidirectional action to protect hares, primarily leading to the improvement in habitat conditions by optimizing the hare environment. At the same time, all active conservation measures implemented by the animal settlement should be preceded by a thorough assessment of the environment status, as well as combined with treatments to increase the heterogeneity of the field habitats, mainly by increasing the participation in large agri−ecosystems structures of lands excluded from agricultural production. The improvement of the environmental conditions for hare, in addition to a common reduction of predators number, should be an essential part of the active hare protection programs.
The number of wild boars considerably increased in Poland at the beginning of the 21st century. We tested hypotheses that both the level of wild boar populations and rate of the increase in their numbers in Poland in the years 1999−2014 were dependent on some landscape factors, i.e. forest cover, crop field size and maize occurrence. Hunting bag was used as an index of wild boar abundance. The mean hunting bag of this species in the initial and final part of the study period was positively related to the forest cover and the mean size of farms (as an index of crop field size). In the final years also the occurrence of maize showed a positive effect (tab.). However, the index of wild boar bag growth rate decreased with the forest cover and the farm size. Higher increase in wild boar abundance occurred in regions characterized by lower forests share and fragmented crop fields, where the density of investigated species were lower than in regions with the mosaic of forests and large crop fields. The occurrence of maize significantly affected the growth rate index only in north−eastern part of the country (fig.). Our analysis showed that some evolution in wild boar – landscape relations took place in the recent period. Such changes may lead to an increase in conflicts with agricultural economy caused by this species.
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