A Practical Guidance on Estimation Of European Wild Ungulate Population Density
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Given the diversity of available methods and the geographical diversity of Europe, methodological harmonization is duly needed. The general aim of this guidance is to review the methods for estimating density in European wild ungula¬tes. This guidance is based in previous comprehensive reviews carried out by the ENETWILD Consortium, which propo¬sed general recommendations for practical implementation of methods to estimate wild ungulate density. We present 9 methods used in nineteen wild ruminant species and wild boar distributed across Europe, paying special attention to most practical methods for further implementation in the field to calculate reliable and accurate density estimates, allowing further comparable results over their distribution ranges. This guidance provides recommendations to select the methods to estimate the density and its implementations for ungulate populations with the aim of increasing the output quality (good accuracy and precision). The method should be used in a harmonized way: we provide detailed instructions for the design of most recommended methods, but specific protocols must be specifically adapted to local conditions. Every method on estimating reliable and comparable wild ungulate population density has some advanta¬ges and disadvantages depending on the habitat, the weather conditions and the benefit and do not discard their use if applied in a harmonized way. It arises from this guidance the need of developing a permanent network and a data platform to collect and share local density estimates, so as abundance in the EU.