National Game Management Database of Hungary

National Game Management Database of Hungary

Sándor Csányi (Szent István University, Hungary), Róbert Lehoczki (Szent István University, Hungary) and Krisztina Sonkoly (Szent István University, Hungary)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0927-3.ch015


Advances in ecological science and increasing public environmental awareness have resulted in changes in the management of renewable natural resources. To achieve sustainable use of wildlife, managers need reliable data on populations, habitats, and the complexities of ecological interactions. The National Game Management Database (NGMD) was first mandated by the Hungarian Game Management and Hunting Law in 1996. In this paper, the authors summarize the origins, characteristics, development, and results leading to the final establishment of and uses for the NGMD. Goals of the NGMD are to store data on game populations and game management, provide input to spatial analyses and mapping, and to facilitate decision-making and planning efforts of game management administration. It contains information on the populations of game species, data from annual game management reports, trophy-scoring data, maximum allowed and minimum huntable population size, and maps and long-term game management plans for each GMU and the 24 game management regions. In Hungary, the NGMD was the first operating database in wildlife management and nature conservation providing full GIS capabilities, supporting geographical analyses.
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Ecological And Historical Background

Sustainable use of wild populations is a priority in international conservation treaties and relevant European Union (EU) legislation (Brainerd, 2007; Ebner, 2007; European Communities, 1979, 1992). However, this is not a new concept; in many countries sustainable use of forests, fish, and game is a century’s old tradition. In Hungary, the first elements of modern, “sustainable” game management were established in the late 19th century, along with efforts to integrate forestry, agriculture and game management - three interdependent branches of renewable resources (Csányi, 1994; Tóth, 1991).

An annual harvest (culling) plan is fundamental to game species management. Harvest plans were introduced into Hungarian game management in the 1950s. In the 1970s, the next development was to include a compulsory long-term (10-year) game management plan (Csányi, 1998; Tóth, 1991). Incorporating ecological principles into the management of game populations can be facilitated by identifying relatively homogenous regions in which to base game management planning. Theories supporting regional management first appeared in Hungarian game management literature in the 1960s, summarized as “landscape based game management” (Bencze, 1979; Tóth, 1991). Twenty-four game management regions were established in the 1990s based on available data on game management and environmental variables (Csányi, 1993, 1998, 1999a).

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