Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 51/2 | 2014 | 65-85

  Contribution of bioacoustics to the long-term monitoring of a population of Hazel Grouse Tetrastes bonasia
Blaise Mulhauser & Jean-Lou Zimmermann

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Article summary

The first twelve years of bioacoustic monitoring of the population of Hazel Grouse in the Communal de La Sagne (Neuchâtel canton, Switzerland) have clarified several aspects previously poorly understood of the biology of this species : demography, survival rates, social cohesion. It is shown that the numbers at this site depend not only on the general reproduction rate of the species in the region, but also on the presence of well-established social groups. In the Communal de La Sagne the average minimum life expectancy of Hazel Grouse is 4.63 years. At least three birds lived for more than 8 years and one of them reached 10 years. The area of each individual's territory, over the whole adult life, is between 7.8 and 62.6 ha. A mate male living in the center of a group is much more sedentary than are single birds on the periphery or at the intersection of two different groups. This suggests that the stronger is the cohesion within a group, the better are the chances of survival of each of its individual. However, too dense a population will attract predators. The « optimum » density is between 6 and 8 indivduals per sq. km.

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