Releases of pheasants to entertain hunters should be banned, according to a study
New research has shown that the repopulation of pheasants for hunting purposes has a catastrophic environmental impact. Here because.
Pheasant hunting trip
Pheasant hunting is one of the favorite pastimes of those who love to kill another living being therefore in certain areas, to forage the cruel activity, they can be expected scheduled releases of these magnificent birds. After all, when they are exterminated, it is no longer possible to kill others, so what’s better than a good one restocking con thousands of specimens to be fed to the hunters?
You could not go back to embracing guns and spending happy outings of blood, after all. The practice of release, however, as evidenced by several studies can have consequences that should not be underestimated in ecosystems. Suffice it to say that according to new research the mass repopulations of pheasants do disappear reptiles from the areas where they are released, with catastrophic consequences on ecological balances. For this reason, according to the authors of the study, these releases should be simply prohibited is already the case in some countries.
To determine that the release of the pheasants for hunting purposes determines the local disappearance of reptiles the two scientists Eric Grayson and Julien Taymans, both of the Department of Studies of Natagora, a body that monitors and studies the biodiversity in Belgium. The two scientists came to their conclusions after analyzing the impact of the pheasant releases in six hunting areas in Wallonia.
Incredibly, it was not found in these areas any reptile, regardless of the number of visits made. On the other hand, in other areas of the area not intended for pheasant release, the researchers identified on average about three species of reptiles (from one to six species). It is a very clear fact: the birds released en masse devour all reptiles they encounter, eliminating them from the territory. Huge ecological damage, given the ecological niches covered with lizards, snakes, and other reptiles.
Another significant finding emerged when analyzing a site where pheasants had been released since 1999. For several years in this area, researchers have no longer observed the common lizard. Zootoca vivipara. In 2011, however, a few years after the release and the extinction of the pheasants previously introduced (due to hunting), the lizards returned to 4 of the 5 sectors of the area; it is another obvious sign that indicates the role of the voracious birds.
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The impact of pheasants on reptiles is considered catastrophic; in fact, scientists explain that, in areas where releases for hunting do not take place, the species A fragile snake (il reptile more common than Wallonia) is found in hundreds of specimens per hectare, while subtracting to zero in the areas of restocking. In the cases of rare species, e localized however, even when pheasant inputs cease reptile repopulations do not occur.
This is, for example, the case of Vipera brush in the Belgian province of Namur, which even 10 years after the stop to the pheasant releases has no longer re-colonized the area. In practice, the bird they had extinguished locally.
In front of such evident and dramatic data, according to the authors of the study, there is only one thing to do: prohibit the repopulation of pheasants to satisfy the sadistic appetites of hunters. Their reintroduction has nothing to do with science, but only with shotguns.
“Given the evidence presented, as well as previous studies showing that mass releases of pheasants cause significant impacts on flora, vegetation, and arthropod communities, the authors say that banning pheasant releases would be the recommended course of action. as has already happened in other European countries such as the Netherlands ”, underlines Bird Guides.
Finally, remember that the common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is not even one native species in many countries, since it has been introduced – in ancient times – precisely for hunting purposes. The details of the research “Impacts des lâchers massifs de raisins de Colchide (Phasianus colchicus L.) on the squamates (Reptilia Squamata)” have been published in the specialized scientific journal Bulletin de la Société Herpétologique de France.