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See detailI know what you did last summer - High resolution mapping of wild boar damages with drones
Michez, Adrien ULg; Morelle, Kevin ULg; Lehaire, François ULg et al

Poster (2014, September 01)

Wild boar ability to cause important damages to agricultural lands is not anymore to be demonstrated. These damages often raise conflicts between farmers and hunters due to the associated economic losses ... [more ▼]

Wild boar ability to cause important damages to agricultural lands is not anymore to be demonstrated. These damages often raise conflicts between farmers and hunters due to the associated economic losses. Objective and accurate method for real impact assessment of losses suffered by farmers is thus needed. Currently,in Wallonia damage assessment is performed from the ground by experts, asked to evaluate precisely the area impacted. This task is time and man power consuming. Moreover, damaged areas are often large and consequently, sampling is mandatory and can induce accuracy issues. Recent development of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV / drone) toghether with lower cost and better accessibility for civil society and scientific community, makes now possible the use of this technology for wildlife researches. Through photogrammetric 3D reconstruction of the field crop, UAV can allow to objectively and precisely measure the area impacted by wild boar damages. In a context of increasing issues caused by wild boar to agriculture, and the need for stakeholders for accurate impact assessment, we tested an innovative approach to estimate more effectively the area impacted by wild boar. [less ▲]

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See detailIs wild boar heading towards movement ecology? A review of trends and gaps
Morelle, Kevin ULg; Lehaire, François ULg; Lejeune, Philippe ULg

in Wildlife Biology (2014), 20(4), 196-205

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See detailLes dispositifs enclos-exclos : une solution pour évaluer l’équilibre forêt-grande faune
Lehaire, François ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2014)

Au cours des dernières décennies, l’augmentation des populations des grands ongulés herbivores et leur influence sur la végétation forestière ont été clairement mises en évidence. Cette situation explique ... [more ▼]

Au cours des dernières décennies, l’augmentation des populations des grands ongulés herbivores et leur influence sur la végétation forestière ont été clairement mises en évidence. Cette situation explique que le contrôle et le suivi de la pression de la grande faune sur l’écosystème constitue une des préoccupations majeures des forestiers. Il convient de mettre en oeuvre une démarche objective et rigoureuse pour diagnostiquer l’état de l’équilibre sylvo-cynégétique. Dans ces conditions, le recours à des dispositifs de type enclos-exclos constitue une alternative intéressante dans la mesure où ils permettent de mettre en évidence des situations de déséquilibre ou de détecter de manière précoce toute dégradation d’une situation jugée initialement acceptable. En Wallonie, les dispositifs enclos-exclos utilisés reposent sur la comparaison, d’une part, du milieu réel (exclos) complètement accessible à la grande faune présente dans la zone d’étude et, d’autre part, d’un milieu dit de « contrôle » (enclos) inaccessible à toutes populations de grands ongulés (sanglier, cerf, chevreuil et mouflon). Les enclos-exclos jouent un rôle didactique indéniable en exposant côte à côte deux situations qui peuvent être très contrastées. Au-delà de cet aspect visuel, des données objectives peuvent être rapidement collectées pour réaliser sur une base statistique des analyses plus détaillées (relevé floristique, ainsi que hauteur, nombre de tiges et recouvrement de certaines strates de végétation). En 2006, plusieurs dispositifs pilotes (4 x 4 mètres) ont été installés dans des trouées forestières pour suivre la dynamique de la végétation basse (herbacée et ligneuse). Les observations ainsi récoltées jusque 2012 ont permis de calculer une série d’indicateurs susceptibles d’objectiver la pression subie par l’écosystème forestier sous l’action des grands herbivores. [less ▲]

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See detailLes indicateurs de la pression du cerf élaphe sur la végétation du sous-bois en forêts feuillues tempérées : synthèse bibliographique
Lehaire, François ULg; Ligot, Gauthier ULg; Morelle, Kevin ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014), 18(2), 262-272

During the last decades, the populations of large herbivores have increased. Consequently, their pressure on forest vegetation has been exacerbated and has reached in some forests levels that reduced the ... [more ▼]

During the last decades, the populations of large herbivores have increased. Consequently, their pressure on forest vegetation has been exacerbated and has reached in some forests levels that reduced the diversity of forest ecosystem services. Assessing the balance between timber production and hunting remains a crucial question for forest users (foresters, hunters) and requires reliable tools such as ecological indicators. This paper reviews the ecological indicators that characterize the pressure of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) on understory vegetation in temperate deciduous forest. Such indicators monitor the cover, height, stem density, biomass and species diversity of different indicator plant groups. These plant groups embrace species belonging to herbaceous stratum, forest regeneration or particular species such as bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and bramble (Rubus fruticosus L.). The choice of indicator plants, as it affects considerably the performance of the ecological indicator of deer pressure on understory vegetation, must be carried out with caution taking into account plant abundance and palatability. The reviewed indicators help to understand the relationships between biodiversity, carrying capacity and deer populations. They are intended to forest managers that would like to monitor red deer pressure in regards to forest management goals and forest sustainability. [less ▲]

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See detailANALYSE SPATIO-TEMPORELLE DES DÉGÂTS D’ÉCORCEMENT DANS LES PLANTATIONS RÉSINEUSES EN RÉGION WALLONNE
Ligot, Gauthier ULg; Lehaire, François ULg; Gheysen, Thibaut et al

in Forêt Wallonne (2013), 126

Les dégâts d’écorcement inquiètent de très nombreux gestionnaires forestiers. Depuis plus de 10 ans, des inventaires sont réalisés annuellement et des outils de diagnostic ont été développés afin d’en ... [more ▼]

Les dégâts d’écorcement inquiètent de très nombreux gestionnaires forestiers. Depuis plus de 10 ans, des inventaires sont réalisés annuellement et des outils de diagnostic ont été développés afin d’en quantifier l’ampleur en Région wallonne. L’examen de ces données met en évidence le rôle prépondérant des densités de cerfs ainsi que de la structure du paysage, de la rigueur des hivers et de la capacité d’accueil du milieu. [less ▲]

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See detailFine-scale analysis of ungulate-vehicle collisions in Southern Belgium
maron, Julie; Lehaire, François ULg; Morelle, Kevin ULg et al

Poster (2013, August)

Ungulate-vehicle collisions (UVC) are an increasing phenomenon in many European countries. These road accidents are a threat to wildlife populations but also to human safety and generate high economic ... [more ▼]

Ungulate-vehicle collisions (UVC) are an increasing phenomenon in many European countries. These road accidents are a threat to wildlife populations but also to human safety and generate high economic costs. Wallonia, the Southern part of Belgium, is also affected by the UVC problem and offers an interesting study area because of its very dense road network and increasing big game populations. The aim of our study was to determine where and when UVC hotspots occurred along highways in Wallonia, in order to provide recommendations regarding the location and design of mitigation measures. The study site is located in Wallonia (Southern Belgium) in the provinces of Liege and Namur (5,875 km²). Ungulates species present in this area are wild boar, roe deer and red deer. The UVC data were collected by the police and covered the period between 2008 and 2011 (n= 2,704). We analyzed the landscape and road-related variables of sections with high UVC risk in contrast with section of low risk. The landscape and road-related variables related to the location of UVC were highlighted using a generalized linear model (GLM) with simulated pseudo-absences. Concerning traffic accidents, the most involved game species are wild boar (37% of all casualties). That’s why the amount of data on wild boar was higher than for the other species. The results of the spatial and temporal analysis of wild boar-vehicle collisions (WVC) are therefore more accurate than for the other species. Consequently we decided to focused on the wild boar in the present poster. Temporal analysis showed strong variations in the WVC frequency over time, on the daily and seasonal scale. These critical periods correspond to the activity periods of the species (more UVC at night and during autumn and winter). The study also points out a negative correlation between the occurrence of UVC and the traffic volume (R² = 9.79%). This result doesn’t match with the literature but can be explained if we assume that when traffic increase, the road represents a more impassable barrier for animal species. As expected we also noticed a positive correlation between game density and UVC risk. These results indicate clear spatial and temporal clustering of WVC. Identification of hotspots enables us to identify the priority areas where mitigation measures must be considered. For further research, the accuracy of the police data should be improved in order to predict more exactly the risk of UVC. This would also make the mitigation measures more cost-effective. [less ▲]

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See detailWild boar movement ecology: what do we (don’t) know ?
Morelle, Kevin ULg; Prévot, Céline; Lehaire, François ULg et al

Poster (2013, August)

Although subject of many researches since decades, movement studies have been recently enhanced by the emergence of the movement ecology paradigm (Nathan 2008). Under this paradigm, Nathan et al. (2008 ... [more ▼]

Although subject of many researches since decades, movement studies have been recently enhanced by the emergence of the movement ecology paradigm (Nathan 2008). Under this paradigm, Nathan et al. (2008) proposed to break down movement of animal into four basic mechanistic components: i) internal states (motivation, physiology, why to move ?), ii) motion capacities (how to move ?), iii) navigation capacities and (when and where to move ?) and iv) external factors (physical environment and living organisms – conspecifics or not). Considering these four components of an individual’s movement, we reviewed literature dealing with wild boar (Sus scrofa L.), a species of important ecological and socio-economic concern, and tried to identify the key processes influencing this species’ movement. We conclude this review of the literature by highlighting the gaps in movement ecology of wild boar and suggesting further research directions under the light of the most recent used techniques. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial analysis of bark-stripping damage by red deer in irregular hardwood forest
Lehaire, François ULg; Mercier, Grégoire; Lejeune, Philippe ULg

Poster (2013, August)

Over the past years, the population size of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) is following an upward trend in Wallonia. This has led to an increased pressure on vegetation as well as to forest damages of ... [more ▼]

Over the past years, the population size of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) is following an upward trend in Wallonia. This has led to an increased pressure on vegetation as well as to forest damages of greater frequency and intensity. Among these damages, bark-stripping can be especially harmful to the timber quality due to the development of rot. The impact of these populations may thus lead to a reduction in forest productivity and to economic losses. Nevertheless, these damages doesn’t depend only on the density of red deer but also on the environmental characteristics of their habitats. The main objective of this study is to perform a spatial analysis of the occurrence of bark stripping in order to identify the environmental factor that affect the occurrence of the damages in hardwood forests. The bark-stripping damages in coniferous stands are well-known due to the fact that they are relatively frequent. Such information is however unavailable for hardwood stands. The study site (6500 hectares) is located in the Ardennes in Southern Belgium (Wallonia) and is mainly composed of beech stands. We used data of inventory campaigns that were carried out for management purposes. In each sampling unit (total of 321 units), we measured different stand characteristics and, during a second phase, the bark-stripping damages. These latter measurements concerned the presence or absence of bark-stripping on each recorded stem and damage age (presence or not of a healing roll). Only trees with dbh greater than 5 cm were taken into account. All the data were collected in hardwood stands. To perform the spatial analysis, a set of environmental variables, including landscape (distances to the natural or artificial feeding points, to watering-place, to the different types of road and to the forest paths, to refuge areas for deer and to forest edges, etc.) and tree dimension variables, have been collected. The estimated red deer density was also took into account. All these variables have been included in a fixed linear model using stepwise regression. An angular transformation was applied in order to guarantee appropriate conditions of application of the linear regressions. Over one hundred variables were tested but only six of them have a significant impact on the bark-stripping rate. This model explains only 10,2% of the bark-stripping rate. Tree dimension variables explain most of the bark-stripping rate. Thus, forest structure has an important impact on the bark-stripping probability. The roads and the human activities in general can have an impact on the bark-stripping rate. These activities can disturb the red deer feeding periods during the day and lead to important bark-stripping damages. We expected to observe other variables contributing to the model such as red deer density and altitude. The absence of effect of altitude can be explained by the fact that bark-stripping of beech trees occurs mainly in summer. The scale of the study can explain the absence of red deer density. [less ▲]

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See detailBioindicators for measurement of red deer pressure on understory vegetation in temperate deciduous forests
Lehaire, François ULg; Morelle, Kevin ULg; Ligot, Gauthier ULg et al

Poster (2013, August)

During the last decades, populations of large herbivores have largely increased. Consequently, their pressure on forest vegetation has been exacerbated, reaching in some cases levels that reduced the ... [more ▼]

During the last decades, populations of large herbivores have largely increased. Consequently, their pressure on forest vegetation has been exacerbated, reaching in some cases levels that reduced the diversity of forest ecosystem services. Assessing the balance between timber production and hunting activities remains a crucial question for forest managers who hence need reliable tools such as ecological indicators. Our aim was to review ecological indicators that characterize the pressure of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) on understory vegetation in temperate deciduous forest ecosystem. The choice of plants on which the variables are measured is crucial to accurately characterize the deer pressure. This choice must take into account the feeding behavior of red deer, silvicultural objectives, ease of the measurement and the occurrence of these plants within the studied habitat. Generally, it is more appropriate to use common species with a wide ecological amplitude. The choice of indicator plants must take into account plant abundance and palatability, as they both affects considerably the performance of the ecological indicator. The variability of indicators generally increases with the scarcity of the chosen indicator plant. Therefore, choosing abundant plant species appear often the best solution as the resulting have a lower variability and hence enable better to detect changes of deer pressure. At low herbivore pressure, palatable species to offer quick response to the pressure variations. Palatable species are therefore reliable plant indicator especially if these is a good balance between game population and forestry. At excessive herbivore pressure, non-palatable species are preferred. In this case, the variability of ecological indicator is smaller with non palatable plant than with palatable plant. Ecological indicators of deer pressure help to understand the relationships between biodiversity, carrying capacity and deer populations. They are intended to forest managers that would like to monitor red deer pressure in regards to forest management goals and forest sustainability. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment and monitoring of forest-game balance: an exclosure experiment
Lehaire, François ULg; Licoppe, Alain ULg; Lejeune, Philippe ULg

Poster (2013, August)

During the last decades, populations of large ungulates have largely increased, strengthening the pressure exerted by these species on forest vegetation. Therefore, monitoring this pressure has become ... [more ▼]

During the last decades, populations of large ungulates have largely increased, strengthening the pressure exerted by these species on forest vegetation. Therefore, monitoring this pressure has become unavoidable for sustainable forest management. Such monitoring requires a rigorous approach in order to evaluate objectively the balance between game population and forestry. The use of exclosure experiment offers an interesting solution to observe the effects of game populations on forest ecosystem. When objectives expected from forest management are clearly defined, exclosure experiments can effectively be used as a monitoring tool, to allow detecting unbalanced situations, for example, herbivore pressure threatening forest regeneration. The monitoring tool combines on one side an exclosure, defined as "the real environment", fully accessible to herbivores and, on the other side an enclosure, which is the "control treatment", fenced and therefore unavailable to any large ungulates. Our main aim was to compute a set of indicators characterizing the ecological changes due to large herbivores pressure on forest ecosystems. We identified 2 categories of ecological indicators: the short-term and the medium-term indicators. Short-term indicators require only two-year of monitoring to correctly quantify herbivore pressure whereas medium-term indicators require at least 4 years of monitoring. The study site is located in Southern Belgium (Wallonia), in mixed beech and oak forests. The predominant vegetation type is the "Luzulo-Fagetum", typically found in acidophileous beech forests. The ungulate species of interest are red deer, roe deer, wild boar and mouflon. In 2006, enclosures and exclosures (4 x 4 m) were installed in 17 sites scattered in two zones with contrasted deer densities to assess indicators efficiency. Between 2006 and 2012, we performed floristic surveys and we recorded the height, density and cover of the understory vegetation of every plot. [less ▲]

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See detailAn exclosure experiment to assess the impact of ungulates on plant diversity in Belgium
VANDENSCHRICK, François; Lehaire, François ULg; Licoppe, Alain ULg et al

Poster (2013, August)

The erosion of biodiversity is caused by many factors. Large ungulates, which occupy a large part of the Walloon forests, can also influence the distribution and dynamics of plant species. Therefore, they ... [more ▼]

The erosion of biodiversity is caused by many factors. Large ungulates, which occupy a large part of the Walloon forests, can also influence the distribution and dynamics of plant species. Therefore, they impact the biodiversity of our temperate forests. The aim of the present study is to identify changes in forest understory vegetation due to the pressure exerted by wild ungulates thanks to an exclosure-enclosure experiment. This study was conducted on a high plateau of the Ardenne, in the forest of St Michel Freyr (South Belgium). The forested area is dominated by beech and spruce where red deer, wild boar and roe deer are living in sympatry. 150 sampling plots were established in 2000. Each plot consisted of two closed enclosures of 4 m² each and one exclosure of 4 m² as control under pressure of ungulates. Sampling was carried out systematically by a 500m-square mesh. The cover rate and height of some easily identifiable species were measured regularly since 2000 (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011-2012). In addition, we identified each herbaceous species in 2011-2012 to analyze the species richness after more than 10 years exclosure. Ligneous species showed an increase of developpement in the fenced area. These species are more impacted when they are not much represented in the study site.Species richness and diversity are higher in areas impacted by herbivory. Monocotyledons are mainly favorised while tree seedlings are unfavorised. Browsing on the trees keeps the area free from high vegetation and allows light to reach the ground. In the same time, herbaceous species have a lower cover rate in the enclosure because of the competitive exclusion induced by shrub and tree seedlings layer. If the apparition of most species is favorised by ungulates, they induce a lag of gowth on dicotyledons which have a higher palatability than monocotyledons. Ungulates have the ability to impact the distribution of vegetal species by the modification of the competitive interaction. By their pressure on tree and shrub species, they induce a higher diversity of the ground flora. However, this change in vegetation composition is slow and requires a long-term studie, specially in areas of low biomass productivity like the St-Hubert forest. [less ▲]

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See detailLES ENCLOS-EXCLOS : UNE TECHNIQUE ÉPROUVÉE POUR L’ÉVALUATION ET LE MONITORING DE L’ÉQUILIBRE FORÊT-GRANDE FAUNE
Lehaire, François ULg; Morelle, Kevin ULg; Licoppe, Alain ULg et al

in Forêt Wallonne (2013), 125

During the last decades, populations of large ungulate herbivores have increased and their influence on forest vegetation have been clearly highlighted. Therefore, monitoring game pressure have become ... [more ▼]

During the last decades, populations of large ungulate herbivores have increased and their influence on forest vegetation have been clearly highlighted. Therefore, monitoring game pressure have become unavoidable for sustainable forest management. Such monitoring require a rigorous approach in order to evaluate objectively the forest-game balance. Under these conditions, the use of exclosure experiment has appeared an interesting solution. They enable to observe the ecosystem evolution due to forest-game imbalance as well as to detect any early deterioration of a situation that was initially considered acceptable. The enclosure-exclosure devices compare, on the one hand, the real environment (exclosure) fully accessible by wildlife and, secondly, a “control” fenced habitat (enclosures) inaccessible to all populations of large ungulates (e.g. wild boar, red deer, roe deer and mouflon). In 2006, enclosure-exclosure devices (4 x 4 m) were installed within forest gaps in order to monitore the understory dynamic in Wallonia. Observations were collected until 2012 and we computed a set of indicators characterizing the ecological changes due to large herbivores pressure on forest ecosystems. Such devices played a key educational role as it provide a visual comparison of two contrasted situations. Additionally, quantitative information were collected to perform further analysis (floristic survey, as well as height, number of stems and the cover of vegetation). We identified indicators of the ecological changes that responded within two years whereas other indicators required at least 4 monitoring years in order to quantify correctly herbivore pressure. Short-term indicators allow a rapid detection, but they have the disadvantage of being very sensitive to exogenous factors (climate changes, site conditions). At the opposite, medium-term indicators, such as regeneration growth, require a longer monitoring period, but they are more robust (mitigation interannual variations of environmental factors) than the short-term indicators. We evaluated the relative efficiency of various indicators using 17 enclosures distributed in two zones with contrasted deer densities. Some of the tested indicators allowed detecting significant differences between the two zones (Student's t test). In particular, among the short-term indicators we obtained significant result with the ground vegetation richness, regeneration richness, seedling density and height of Rubus fruticosus L. and Rubus idaeus L.. Among the medium-term indicators, the most relevant indicators were the average height of beech and birch, ground vegetation richness, seedling density and total cover of vegetation. [less ▲]

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See detailSuivi de 27 régénérations de chêne sessile et de hêtre : résultats pour la période de 2007 à 2012
Ligot, Gauthier ULg; Mackels, Benoit ULg; Lehaire, François ULg et al

Report (2013)

En 2007, l’unité de Gestion des Ressources forestières et des Milieux naturels de la Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomique de Gembloux (appartenant maintenant à l’Université de Liège, ULg) a ... [more ▼]

En 2007, l’unité de Gestion des Ressources forestières et des Milieux naturels de la Faculté Universitaire des Sciences Agronomique de Gembloux (appartenant maintenant à l’Université de Liège, ULg) a installé un vaste dispositif de suivi de la régénération naturelle de chêne et de hêtre en Ardenne. Ce document présente la synthèse des résultats pour la période de 2007 à 2012. Il a été rédigé suite à la demande des agents de terrain et des ingénieurs de cantonnement hébergeant les sites expérimentaux. [less ▲]

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See detailCollisions entre véhicules et animaux en liberté : état des lieux à partir d'une enquête au sein de la police
Lehaire, François ULg; Morelle, Kevin ULg; Lejeune, Philippe ULg

in Forêt Wallonne (2013), 122

Les accidents de la route impliquant des animaux sauvages sont de plus en plus nombreux. En se basant sur les données recueillies par les zones de police en Wallonie, il est possible d’avoir une vision ... [more ▼]

Les accidents de la route impliquant des animaux sauvages sont de plus en plus nombreux. En se basant sur les données recueillies par les zones de police en Wallonie, il est possible d’avoir une vision plus claire de la problématique. Dans le cas du cerf et du sanglier, il apparaît clairement que la hausse des accidents est liée à l’augmentation de leurs populations. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling recent bark stripping by red deer (Cervus elaphus) in South Belgium coniferous stands
Ligot, Gauthier ULg; Gheysen, Thibaut; Lehaire, François ULg et al

in Annals of Forest Science : a Multidisciplinary and International Journal (2013), 70(3),

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See detailSpatio-temporal patterns of wildlife-vehicle collisions in a region with a high-density road network
Morelle, Kevin ULg; Lehaire, François ULg; Lejeune, Philippe ULg

in Nature Conservation (2013), (5), 53-73

This paper is the first to report data on wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) in Wallonia, southern Belgium, characterised by one of the densest road network worldwide. With the collaboration of police we ... [more ▼]

This paper is the first to report data on wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) in Wallonia, southern Belgium, characterised by one of the densest road network worldwide. With the collaboration of police we identified 3965 accidents involving “free ranging animal” between 2003 and 2011. We observed that these accidents with free ranging animals result in 13% of cases in injuries for the drivers or passengers, and in less than 1% of cases in fatalities (death). 78% of these casualties involve wild animals, among which wild boar take the largest part (39% ). During the covered period we observed an annual increase of WVC of 21%. For wild boar and red deer, this increase was significantly correlated with hunting statistics, used as an index of population density. The temporal analysis demonstrated an increase of WVC during night time with peak of accidents at dusk and dawn. Monthly distribution revealed the role of breeding, dispersal and hunting in shaping temporal patterns of accidents. Spatial analysis, focusing on wild boar, roe deer, red deer and red fox demonstrated clustering of accidents for all these species, until scale between 20 to 70 km. Mapping of accidents via Kernel density analysis permitted us to highlight areas with high risk of WVC risk. Our study suggests that the problem of car accidents due to wildlife is an increasing concern in Wallonia but results on spatial and temporal patterns should help for setting up mitigation measures in the most sensible areas. Moreover we suggest that police data source should be used for nationwide analysis and for comparison between countries. [less ▲]

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See detailGame species monitoring using road–based distance sampling in association with thermal imagers: a covariate analysis
Morelle, Kevin ULg; Bouché, Philippe; Lehaire, François ULg et al

in Animal Biodiversity and Conservation (2012), 35(2), 253-265

Monitoring of game species populations is necessary to adequately assess culling by hunters in areas where natural large predators are absent. However, game managers have to control several species and ... [more ▼]

Monitoring of game species populations is necessary to adequately assess culling by hunters in areas where natural large predators are absent. However, game managers have to control several species and they often lack of an efficient and convenient survey design method. Monitoring several species at that same time over large areas could thus be cost– and time–effective. We tested the influence of several factors during monitoring of three common game species, (wild boar, roe deer and red fox, using road–based distance sampling in association with thermal imagers. This pilot survey based on 20 night counts in five contrasting sites studied the effect of several covariates (species, thermal imaging, observer, group size, and habitat type) on the detection probabilities. No differences were observed between thermal imagers and group sizes , but we found differences between observers . Expected differences were also observed between species and between habitat type. Our results show that the detectability of low cost thermal imaging equipment is similar to that of more expensive methods, highlighting new possibilities for the use of thermal imagery by game managers. Although adjustments should be made to the study design our findings suggest that large–scale multi–species monitoring could be an efficient method for common game species. [less ▲]

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See detailEnclosure-exclosure : management tools of forest-ungulates
Lehaire, François ULg

Scientific conference (2012, October 04)

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