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Implications for conservation of foraging sites selected by Short-toed Eagles (Circaetus gallicus) in Greece

Bakaloudis, D. E. (2009) Implications for conservation of foraging sites selected by Short-toed Eagles (Circaetus gallicus) in Greece. Ornis Fennica, 86 (3). pp. 89-96. ISSN 0030-5685

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Abstract/Summary

The major threat to Short-toed Eagles (Circaetus gallicus) is the reduction of suitable foraging habitats, but no quantitative studies have been conducted to understand this process. Here, the spatial distribution of foraging Short-toed Eagles was studied in relation to nine habitat types in Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli National Park, Greece, during 1996-1998. Compared to the observed occurrence of foraging individuals over a particular habitat type with the expected utilization of that same habitat type, Short-toed Eagles concentrated their foraging efforts on three types of open habitat: intensive and non-intensive cultivation, and grasslands. Forested areas (pine forests, oak forests and mixed oak-pine forests) were largely avoided by foraging individuals. The density of prey items on the ground may not necessarily be a good indicator as to where an eagle individual will forage, as vegetation structure is also highly influential. The results highlight the importance of open habitat types which provide foraging opportunities for the Short-toed Eagle population. Management guidelines that maintain the region as a patchy network of open and wooded habitats are discussed in order to conserve a viable population of Short-toed Eagles, and possibly certain other raptor species that forage over open areas.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:9549
Uncontrolled Keywords:NORTHEASTERN GREECE, HABITAT SELECTION, LAND-USE, AVAILABILITY DATA, SPECIES RICHNESS, BREEDING-SEASON, LESSER KESTRELS, FARMLAND BIRDS, NATURE-RESERVE, HEN HARRIERS

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