The rock partridge is an emblematic species of the Greek avifauna and one of the most important game species in the country. The present study, which combined long term in–situ counts with distance sampling methodology in central Greece, indicated that the species’ population in Greece is the highest within its European distribution, in contrast to all prior considerations. Inter–annual trends suggested a stable rock partridge population both within hunting areas and wildlife refuges, whereas during summer, the species presented significantly higher densities in altitudes of more than 1,000 m, most probably due to the effect of predation at lower zones. The similarity of population structure between wildlife refuges and hunting zones along with the stable population trends demonstrate that rock partridge harvest in the country is sustainable.
Rock partridge, Alectoris graeca graeca, Greece, Population trends, ANOVA models, Constrainedordination, Sustainable harvest
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