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|Title: ||The importance of grazing regime in the provision of breeding habitat for grassland birds: The case of the endangered little bustard (Tetrax tetrax)|
|Authors: ||Faria, Nuno|
Rabaça, João E.
Morales, Manuel B.
|Keywords: ||Tetrax tetrax|
|Issue Date: ||Aug-2012|
|Citation: ||Faria N, Rabaça JE, Morales MB. 2012. The importance of grazing regime in the provision of breeding habitat for grassland birds: The case of the endangered little bustard (Tetrax tetrax). Journal for Nature Conservation, 20(4):211-218.|
|Abstract: ||In Mediterranean dry grasslands, grazing by domestic animals is an important agricultural activity on dry grasslands. Several bird species occur in these grazed habitats and are now experiencing a near continuous decline. We investigated the impact of livestock grazing on the threatened little bustard (Tetrax tetrax L.). The study was conducted at the NATURA 2000 Site/Important Bird Area of Cabrela, Portugal. Our main goals were to investigate responses of little bustard territorial males and breeding females to different livestock management practices, namely pasture types, stocking rates and sward structure. Bird distribution was surveyed using car and foot surveys. Data on grazing was supplied by land managers every 10 days from February to June through field interviews. Generalised additive models and model averaging were used to compute predictive models. Results indicate that higher probabilities of occurrence were found in long-term pastures and under light-moderate grazing conditions (stocking rates around 0.4 LU/ha). Conversely, lower probabilities of occurrence were found in ungrazed or heavy grazed fields. Males occurred mostly in large fields, but this variable seemed to be less important for females. On the other hand, green plant cover and the vegetation height were good predictors for the occurrence of females but not for males. Females used mostly pastures with vegetation height around 20–25 cm. Our results suggest that grazing management plans that aim to conserve little bustard populations should consider (1) the maintenance of the larger long-term pastures and (2) the use of light-moderate stocking rates (0.2–0.6 LU/ha).|
|Appears in Collections:||MED - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica|
BIO - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica
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