Habitat Selection Interacts with Social Processes and Spatial Scale:Conservation Implications for a Lekking Bird - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2024

Habitat Selection Interacts with Social Processes and Spatial Scale:Conservation Implications for a Lekking Bird

Abstract

Habitat selection is influenced by landscape composition, resource distribution and social behaviour, and is also scale-dependent. This study focused on the habitat selection of the little bustard (Tetrax tetrax), a medium-sized lekking bird found in extensively managed agricultural habitats. We developed habitat selection models with the aim of disentangling the relative effects of local habitat parameters (crop), landscape features and social factors (distance to nearest male conspecific, to take into account the exploded lek mating system of this species). We used the SILand package in R, which allows the estimation of simple and interactive effects, using spatially accurate counts of male little bustards over a 1074-km² study suite (over 11 consecutive years). Local and landscape-scale habitats were taken into account, including management initiatives (i.e. agri-environment schemes), allowing a quantitative analysis of these conservation measures. The predictive power of the models that only included local habitat was poor, but including landscape habitats – interacting with local habitat or not – dramatically increased the model’s predictive power. Adding the social factor further improved model quality. From a conservation perspective, we found that the presence probability of a male increases by about 25% when the field is managed with an agri-environment scheme. If the habitat around the field is of high quality (50% of grasslands within a 500-m radius), this probability rises to 0.8, and if a male is already present within 250 m, it reaches 1. This suggests that conservation measures should preferentially target hotspots of male presence (larger leks).
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Dates and versions

hal-04603511 , version 1 (06-06-2024)

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Vincent Bretagnolle, Olivier Martin, Cyrille Poirel, Régis Ouvrard. Habitat Selection Interacts with Social Processes and Spatial Scale:Conservation Implications for a Lekking Bird. 2024. ⟨hal-04603511⟩
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