Capsule: The conservation of Red-backed Shrikes on farmland habitats depends on extensive farming conditions. Aims: To evaluate breeding density and habitat preferences of the declining Red-backed Shrike and relate its occurrence to an environmental gradient ranging from land abandonment to intensive farming. Methods: The study was carried out in the Apennines (northern Italy), at nine 21-ha study plots. We identified factors affecting breeding density and habitat preferences at two spatial scales (landscape and territory) and analysed the variation in territory density according to the relative farming intensity in a low-intensity agricultural landscape. Results: The presence of shrubs and cultivated/grazed land positively influenced the number of Red-backed Shrike territories per plot, while the species' settlement within plots was related to higher values of shrub cover and the presence of hedges. Shrike occurrence was associated with land-use categories intermediate between land abandonment and intensive agriculture. Conclusions: This study provides a first detailed assessment of Red-backed Shrike habitat requirements in southern Europe. Favoured habitats were pasture/cultivation mosaics flanked by or interspersed with shrubs/hedges (15-20% of the surface of the 1-ha medium-sized territory). Thus, the conservation of Red-backed Shrikes in low-intensity southern European farmland appears to reflect a trade-off between agricultural intensification and long-term land abandonment.
|Titolo:||Between land abandonment and agricultural intensification : habitat preferences of Red-backed Shrikes Lanius collurio in low-intensity farming conditions|
|Autori interni:||RUBOLINI, DIEGO (Secondo)|
BRAMBILLA, MATTIA (Primo)
GUIDALI, FRANCA ANGELA (Ultimo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|