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Water-site selection and behaviour of red-legged partridge Alectoris rufa evaluated using camera trapping

By Carlos Sánchez-García, José A. Armenteros, Marta E. Alonso, Randy T. Larsen, Juan M. Lomillos, Vicente R. Gaudioso

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Abstract

This paper explores watering patterns of wild red-legged partridges at water troughs (WT) during three consecutive summers on a farm-land area of Spain where drought periods are frequent. Camera trapping was used in order to assess climatic effects on weekly and daily watering patterns, investigate the influence of shrub cover on water-site selection, evaluate behavioural patterns displayed when using WT, and describe age and number of birds observed at WT. Red-legged partridges used WT throughout the study period, but significant use did not occur until August, decreasing dramatically in mid September, and ending in October. A circadian watering pattern was observed during daylight hours with most photographs taken from 08:00hours to 11:00hours (54.8%). Partridges displayed different behaviours (drinking, feeding/dusting, vigilance, moving/unknown), but patterns did not vary significantly throughout the day. WT were used mostly by adult birds with only 26.5% of photographs also depicting young partridges. WT selection was strongly influenced by the presence of surrounding vegetation as partridges preferred troughs with shrub cover. We also found a significant negative relationship (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 137
Issue 1
Pages 86-95
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.01.013
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Tags
  1. Activity
  2. trapping