Survival and morphometrics of radiocollared wild and reared red-legged partridges Alectoris rufa in Pisa province (Tuscany, central Italy)

Scarselli D., Vecchio G., Morelli M.B., Petrini R., Oliviero F., Fontanelli N., Canova C., Cozzi C., Mazzarone V.

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Small populations of red-legged partridge are present in Pisa province (Tuscany, central Italy) as a result of reintroductions carried out for hunting purposes. This two-years research aimed to the evaluation of some survival and behaviour parameters of wild and just released reared red-legged partridge through the use of radio-tracking. Wild partridges were studied in two protected areas; in February 2011, 26 individuals were captured and ftted with radiocollars. Reared partridges were released in July 2011, using acclimatization birdcages, in other three protected areas. In this case, 30 subjects were tagged with radiocollars. Wild partridges showed higher survival rate than reared partridges. Among the latter, dead individuals had higher weight and wing loading than alive birds. This effect was not observed for wild partridges. Reared partridges were less selective in habitat choice and they seemed to perform larger movements than wild individuals.