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Surviving in changing agricultural landscapes in Europe and Africa – investigating habitat use of Montagu´s Harriers Circus pygargus along an intensification gradient
Christiaan Both (University of Groningen) et Vincent Bretagnolle (CEBC)
University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Montagu’s Harrier, agri-environment schemes, winter ecology
Eastern Groningen (The Netherlands), Senegal
Farmland birds and long-distance migrants dramatically declined during the last decades due to agricultural intensification and habitat loss in breeding and wintering areas. To protect these groups of birds, detailed knowledge on ecological requirements of species during their entire annual cycle is needed. The Montagu´s Harrier is a migratory farmland bird and an excellent key species to study the relationship between habitat use in agricultural landscapes and individual fitness. In particular, we aim to understand how Montagu’s Harriers perform, in terms of reproductive output and survival, in landscapes that differ dramatically in the degree of intensification. To achieve this, we will capitalize on a unique dataset of high quality tracking data of individual harriers along a gradient from extensive to intensive agricultural landscapes in four European countries. We will also expand our studies to the harriers’ wintering grounds in Africa, tracking individuals in extensive and intensive African agricultural systems, and thereby linking individual habitat use to subsequent fitness consequences (i.e. carry-over effects).
SCHLAICH Almut Ellinor. Stopover site ecology of Montagu´s Harrier (Circus pygargus) in East-Morocco. 2011. Master’s thesis, University of Oldenburg, Germany (PDF)