Rock partridge Alectoris graeca in Lazio region (Central Italy): Status and Action Plan

Sorace A., Guglielmi S., Properzi S., Riga F., Trocchi V., Scalisi M.

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Regional Agency for Parks (ARP) of Lazio region undertook an investigation on the conservation status and distribution of Alectoris graeca in the region to draw up the regional Action Plan for the species. In spring (March-June), surveys of rock partridge were conducted using playback technique in point-counts to obtain the density of rock partridge in each study area; in summer (end of August – early October), a survey was conducted with pointing dogs to establish the breeding success of the species. Data collected in spring were used to develop an habitat-suitability model following the Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) technique. The spring and summer surveys highlighted an areale shrinkage of rock partridge in Latium where it is currently confned to some Apennine areas. In these areas rock partridge showed an overlall density of 0.86 pairs/km2. In summer, groups of rock partridge included, on average, 4.2 juveniles that is a quite low value as compared to the results obtained in other Italian areas. Habitat-suitability model indicates that in the region rock partridge prefers areas with meadow and pastures at high altitude, with quite steep slope, South exposure, rocks and cliffs. The Action Plan detected several actions which can produce positive effects for the conservation of the species.