Grassland versus Shrubland habitat and game management in Mediterranean ecosystems: an application for the Cervus elaphus species
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This work compares the net revenues of maintaining grasslands versus shrublands as part of the habitat of the Cervus elaphus big game species in Mediterranean agroforestry ecosystems. For this purpose, data published by the Regional Government of Andalusia (SW Spain) were used to analyze revenues and expenditures under two scenarios: an optimistic one and a pessimistic one. Revenue is generated from both the value of game trophies and the sale of meat. In the grasslands option, expenditure is associated with the need to supply supplemental food since, unlike shrublands, Mediterranean grasslands do not produce forage crops during the summer months. To analyze the expenditure of supplemental feeding, monthly market prices for corn grain in the province of Cordoba (this province covers an area of almost 1.4 million hectares) were obtained for the period 2015–2019. Our results show that, in net revenues terms, substituting shrublands for grasslands is not always the best option under the conditions analyzed.
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