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Journal Articles Biological Reviews Year : 2024

Demographic and evolutionary consequences of hunting of wild birds

Abstract

ABSTRACT Hunting has a long tradition in human evolutionary history and remains a common leisure activity or an important source of food. Herein, we first briefly review the literature on the demographic consequences of hunting and associated analytical methods. We then address the question of potential selective hunting and its possible genetic/evolutionary consequences. Birds have historically been popular models for demographic studies, and the huge amount of census and ringing data accumulated over the last century has paved the way for research about the demographic effects of harvesting. By contrast, the literature on the evolutionary consequences of harvesting is dominated by studies on mammals (especially ungulates) and fish. In these taxa, individuals selected for harvest often have particular traits such as large body size or extravagant secondary sexual characters (e.g. antlers, horns, etc.). Our review shows that targeting individuals according to such genetically heritable traits can exert strong selective pressures and alter the evolutionary trajectory of populations for these or correlated traits. Studies focusing on the evolutionary consequences of hunting in birds are extremely rare, likely because birds within populations appear much more similar, and do not display individual differences to the same extent as many mammals and fishes. Nevertheless, even without conscious choice by hunters, there remains the potential for selection through hunting in birds, for example by genetically inherited traits such as personality or pace‐of‐life. We emphasise that because so many bird species experience high hunting pressure, the possible selective effect of harvest in birds and its evolutionary consequences deserves far more attention, and that hunting may be one major driver of bird evolutionary trajectories that should be carefully considered in wildlife management schemes.
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Dates and versions

hal-04481030 , version 1 (27-02-2024)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives

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Emilienne Grzegorczyk, Alain Caizergues, Cyril Eraud, Charlotte Francesiaz, Kévin Le Rest, et al.. Demographic and evolutionary consequences of hunting of wild birds. Biological Reviews, 2024, ⟨10.1111/brv.13069⟩. ⟨hal-04481030⟩

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