Recording harvest parameters and monitoring game species’ population dynamics in Greece
Since 1995, the Hellenic Hunters Confederation has been conducting the program “ARTEMIS I”
“ARTEMIS I” aims to:
- Monitor the status, population trends and population structure of game species in Greece
- Acquire the necessary knowledge to achieve objective and rational management of game species
- Evaluate all the management measures which have been applied during previous years
- Confront the lack of scientific data on behalf of the state concerning hunting activity and game species population status
- Disprove subjective data on the state of game populations and hunting in Greece that has been published by various sources.
For all the above reasons, the Hellenic Hunters Confederation (Κυνηγετική Συνομοσπονδία Ελλάδoς) had decided to launch the project “Artemis I” in order to fill this gap and develop the framework for correct and sustainable hunting management of game populations in the country. Since then, Artemis I has become a successful project among Greek hunters.
The project is led by the Hellenic Hunters Confederation (Κυνηγετική Συνομοσπονδία Ελλάδoς) with the collaboration of the seven Hunting Federations within the country and 255 Hunting Clubs. “ARTEMIS I” is carried out exclusively by hunters, who complete a statistical questionnaire with the daily results of all their hunting days during the whole hunting season.
Hunters obtain their questionnaires through their Hunting Clubs during the procedure of their annual license renewal, prior to the opening of the hunting season. A total of 13 variables are recorded during each hunting outing. The main ones are:
– Game species
– Hunting opportunity (number of heads of game encountered on each outing(flushed)
– Hunting harvest-bag (number of heads of game harvested on each outing)
– Duration of hunting outing (hours)
– Number of hunters per group
There are also secondary variables such as: date of hunting outing, hunting area, number of heads of game shot but not retrieved, number of cartridges fired, number of individual partridges per covey (encountered by hunter), name of the hunter’s hunting association, type of hunting license or year of first issuance of hunting license (experience). The study includes all the species which are hunted in Greece (32 avian species and 5 mammals).
The annual cost for the implementation of “ARTEMIS I” is completely funded by the Hellenic Hunters Confederation based on the annual fees which Greek hunters pay for their hunting license. The direct costs for implementing the project are 30.000 € annually. The budget allows having a scientific team to coordinate the project which is made up from 3 main researchers, 2 trainees, and one academic professor as a head researcher of the study.
In periods when the evolution of the total national annual harvest indicated a decreasing trend in the population of a species, the Hellenic Hunters’ Confederation would propose to the Ministry to take measures, such as changing the hunting season for the species, reducing the bag-limit.
After 21 years of work, the results of “ARTEMIS I” have proven that:
- Hunting in Greece is a sustainable activity: the annual value of the quotient harvested/observed individuals such as the Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) has been remarkably stable during all of these years
- It is the unique reliable source of information on all aspects concerning the hunting activity in Greece.
Contacts and Sources
Mr. Nikolaos Papadodimas – President of Hellenic Hunters Confederation
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