Commission Meeting Report
3 May 2006, Limassol, Cyprus
The first meeting of the Commission chaired by its new President, Dr. G R (Dick) Potts took place during 09.00-10.50 on 3rd May 2006 within the 53rd General assembly in Limassol, Cyprus.
After a brief welcome to a full hall Dr. Potts introduced 3 power-point presentations;
1.) The status of small game species in Cyprus by Nicolaos Kassinis from the Game Fund of Cyprus.
Much excellent habitat remains with small fields and small farms. The main problem was the recession of cereal growing in marginal areas adversely impacting the populations of chukar and quail. The black francolin however was doing well though like all small game impacted by fox predation. This has increased due to the recent protection of the fox in Cyprus.
|Download the presentation of Nicolaos Kassinis|
2.) The status of small game species in Germany by Jörg Tillman, Institut für Wildtierforschung an der Tierärztlichen Hochschule, Hannover.
The position of all six game bird species was reviewed and all were declining except possibly the hazel hen. The agriculture was no more inimical than in France where small game was doing well. Predators were still increasing including the eagle owl. A new study of the nocturnal behaviour of the grey partridge, using for the first time thermography, is showing why this species roosts in open situations; to avoid predation. Hares were generally increasing benefiting from set-aside.
3.) The status of small game species in Hungary by Prof. Sándor Faragó, University of West Hungary, Sopron.
Against a depressive background for small game in Hungary the western population of the great bustard was now well managed and increasing. However the population of the red fox was at an all time high and undoubtedly a big problem, restricting the benefits of habitat improvement measures for the grey partridge. However the large field size was a major problem for this species.
|Download the Presentation of Prof. Sándor Faragó|
Commenting on these papers and the fact that predation was mentioned by each author Dr. Dick Potts presented his own analysis about Intra-guild predation. He summarised evidence that the many recent increases in top predators [e.g. lynx, wolf, coyote [in N America], leopard [in Africa], eagles and eagle owl] could suppress the meso-predators [e.g. red fox, baboon [in Africa], goshawk and buzzard with benefits for small game [e.g. partridge, guinea fowl [in Africa] and hazel hen].
|Download the Presentation of Dr. Dick Potts|
Dr. Potts then proposed that CIC take the initiative in studying the issue which was
a) International, affecting all countries and contrasting with agriculture that has wide and fundamental geographical variations.
b) Controversial with implications for predation control [more efficient], hunting [more small game; less large game] and conservation [more toleration of top predators and of meso-predator control by hunters].
c) Inclusive; it could lead to co-operation rather than confrontation with the greens.
Concluding that the debate has begun, the question was whether the CIC wished to be involved at the front or sit on the side.
The meeting agreed that the CIC should become involved and approved the President’s plan to hold a CIC Small Game Symposium on the subject within the 28th IUGB Congress in Uppsala 13-18 August 2007.