The common pheasant Phasianus colchicus is one of the most popular game bird species in Europe. In Italy their populations are commonly managed in order to increase the number of birds for the hunting season. For this reason we have analysed the effect of management strategies, such as hunting effort and land use and characteristics, on the number of pheasants harvested in 19 hunting districts (HDs) in Tuscany during 2001–2003 to detect the best strategies. Our results showed that, in addition to hunter density, protected area, number of wild pheasants relocated and year were selected in the final multivariate model which best explained the number of pheasants harvested. Restocking using wild pheasants captured in protected areas seemed to be of higher importance than releasing farm-reared pheasants. The key tool to sustaining the hunting pressure on pheasants seems to be correct management of the habitat combined with an adequate number of protected areas which can safeguard and produce wild pheasants which can then be captured and relocated or disperse naturally.
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