The impact of harvesting on a formerly endangered tropical bird: insights from life-history theory
Nicoll, M. A. C., Jones, C. G. and Norris, K. (2006) The impact of harvesting on a formerly endangered tropical bird: insights from life-history theory. Journal of Applied Ecology, 43 (3). pp. 567-575. ISSN 0021-8901
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2006.01165.x
1. Life-history theory assumes that trade-offs exist between an individual's life-history components, such that an increased allocation of a resource to one fitness trait might be expected to result in a cost for a conflicting fitness trait. Recent evidence from experimental manipulations of wild individuals supports this assumption. 2. The management of many bird populations involves harvesting for both commercial and conservation purposes. One frequently harvested life-history stage is the egg, but the consequences of repeated egg harvesting for the individual and the long-term dynamics of the population remain poorly understood. 3. We used a well-documented restored population of the Mauritius kestrel Falco punctatus as a model system to explore the consequences of egg harvesting (and associated management practices) for an individual within the context of life-history theory. 4. Our analysis indicated that management practices enhanced both the size and number of clutches laid by managed females, and improved mid-life male and female adult survival relative to unmanaged adult kestrels. 5. Although management resulted in an increased effort in egg production, it reduced parental effort during incubation and the rearing of offspring, which could account for these observed changes. 6. Synthesis and applications. This study demonstrates how a commonly applied harvesting strategy, when examined within the context of life-history theory, can identify improvements in particular fitness traits that might alleviate some of the perceived negative impact of harvesting on the long-term dynamics of a managed population.
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