|Nutritional and genetic adaptation of galliform birds: implications for hand-rearing and restocking|
This study was conducted on both wild and hand-reared birds of two different galliform species (for numbers of birds and their origins, see Table 1). Among galliforms the grey partridge is a good study species, since hand-rearing and releasing of this species has long traditions. The capercaillie has arised a great deal of interest among scientists and hunters, since it is the largest galliform gamebird in Europe and occupies both an economic (game) and conservation (biodiversity) value. Hunters in Finland respect the capercaillie most of the grouse, and the grey partridge of the field quarry (Leinonen & Ermala 1995). The capercaillie is no longer permitted to be hand-reared in Finland.
Table 1. Origins and numbers of birds used in this study.
|I: Capercaillie||Hand-reared/ Wild||20/11|
|II: Grey partridge||Hand-reared/Wild||60/7|
|III: Grey partridge||Hand-reared||54|
|IV: Grey partridge||Hand-reared/ Wild||5/4|
|IV: Grey partridge||Hand-reared||22|
|VI: Grey partridge||Hand-reared/ Wild||68/159|
Hand-reared grey partridges were raised at the Zoological Gardens (University of Oulu, Department of Biology), and the hand-reared capercaillies were either from the Zoological Gardens or from the Meltaus Research Station of the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute. A more detailed description of the rearing methods is given by Putaala (1997). This work was reviewed and approved by the Committee of Animal Experimentation at the University of Oulu (licences 32/93 and 1/96).