Effects of seed-rich habitat provision on territory density, home range and breeding performance of European turtle doves

Dunn, Jenny, Morris, Antony, Grice, Philip and Peach, Will (2020) Effects of seed-rich habitat provision on territory density, home range and breeding performance of European turtle doves. Bird Conservation International . ISSN 0959-2709

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Effects of seed-rich habitat provision on territory density, home range and breeding performance of European turtle doves
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Abstract

Conservation measures providing food-rich habitats through agri-environment schemes (AES) have the potential to affect the demography and local abundance of species limited by food availability. The European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur is one of Europe’s fastest declining birds, with breeding season dietary changes coincident with a reduction in reproductive output suggesting food limitation during breeding. In this study we provided seed-rich habitats at six intervention sites over a 4-year period and tested for impacts of the intervention on breeding success, ranging behaviour and the local abundance of territorial turtle doves. Nesting success and chick biometrics were unrelated to the local availability of seed-rich habitat or to the proximity of intervention plots. Nestling weight was higher close to human habitation consistent with an influence of anthropogenic supplementary food provision. Small home ranges were associated with a high proportion of non-farmed habitats, while large home ranges were more likely to contain seed-rich habitat suggesting that breeding doves were willing to travel further to utilize such habitat where available. Extensively-managed grassland and intervention plot fields were selected by foraging turtle doves. A slower temporal decline in the abundance of breeding males on intervention sites probably reflects enhanced habitat suitability during territory settlement. Refining techniques to deliver sources of sown, natural and supplementary seed that are plentiful, accessible and parasite-free is likely to be crucial for the conservation of turtle doves

Keywords:agri-environment, conservation intervention, food supplementation, habitat provision, Streptopelia turtur, supplementary feeding
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D447 Environmental Conservation
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D740 Agricultural Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:42845
Deposited On:04 Nov 2020 14:49

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