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Błotniak łąkowy Circus pygargus

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... In Poland, the Montagu's Harrier represents a scarce lowland breeding raptor that occurs mainly within the eastern part of the country, i.e. Podlasie, Mazovia and the Lublin area (Tomiałojć and Stawarczyk 2003, Sikora et al. 2007, Kuczyński and Chylarecki 2012 and nests mostly in cereal crops (Sikora et al. 2007, Krupiński 2013. The population size and distribution of Montagu's Harrier within Poland were insufficiently detailed before the turn of the 20 th and 21 st centuries due to incomplete or missing data. ...
... 2. Biebrza Marshes stratum. The Special Protection Area "Ostoja Biebrzańska" (Biebrza Marshes; PLB200006; 1,485 km 2 ) was reported in the literature as the country's main breeding area, hosting over 2% of the national population (Sikora et al. 2007, Krupiński 2013. For this reason, this area was separated from the optimal stratum, and a distinct sampling scheme was designed for the population assessment in this area. ...
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The effective conservation management of vulnerable taxa requires up-to-date evaluation of population size. Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus is a farmland raptor of high conservation concern and threatened by agricultural intensification. However, within many European countries, including Poland, the status of this species remains unknown or questionable and information on its breeding is incomplete or imprecise. Here, we estimate the size of the national population of the Montagu’s Harrier and argue that using data from multiple sources may help to design national bird surveys and better contribute to identifying population trends. We built a predictive model based on a presence-absence data obtained by volunteer-based citizen-science projects conducted in Poland during 2000–2012. Afterwards, from the set of 10 km x 10 km squares of high predicted habitat suitability, 100 sampling plots were randomly chosen and regularly surveyed by experienced ornithologists in 2013 and 2014. The evaluation of fieldwork efficiency by the double-observer approach allowed detectability to be estimated and accounted for while estimating population size. We estimated the Polish Montagu’s Harrier population at almost 3,400 breeding pairs (95% CI: 2,700–4,300), thus constituting 20% of the European Union (EU) population. Furthermore, we showed that public-gathered data originating from multiple sources offered great potential for regular surveys to obtain large-scale estimates of population size.
... Apart from selecting a useful set of polymorphic markers, in addition to the microsatellites described by Heap et al. (2011), we also wanted to compare the genetic variability of these two breeding populations and estimate the genetic differentiation between them. We expected some differences in the level of genetic variability because the Spanish population of this species is large and has been relatively stable for long time, whereas the Polish breeding population has been recently increasing or has stabilised after some reduction of breeding pairs in the 1980's, at least in some areas (Krupiński 2013). However, short term estimates from 2007–2012 performed as a part of the project: 'Monitoring of Birds of Poland', showed a clear, massive reduction (50%) of the Montagu's harrier population (MBP 2013). ...
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The aim of our study was to find suitable molecular markers for genetic studies of the population of Montagu's harrier Circus pygargus. We used the cross-species amplification strategy to test the usefulness of 24 primer pairs, amplifying the microsatellite loci of several other members of Accipitridae. The analysis was performed on 139 Montagu's harriers from breeding populations in Spain and Poland. We found an amplification success of 50%; however, the level of polymorphism in cross-amplified microsatellites was low, especially in terms of heterozygosity. We did not find significant differences in genetic variability, estimated based on microsatellite markers, between breeding populations from Spain and Poland. The level of genetic differentiation between these two populations was low (F ST = 0.016), although significant. An analysis of genotypes of nestlings in 10 nests suggested one case of extra-pair paternity.
Article
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Semicolonial nesting and conservation of the Montagu's harrier Circus pygargus in rapeseed fields in Southern Podlasie (eastern Poland) Agrocoenosis are important nest sites for Montagu's harriers. In 2009, a large semicolony of 14 Montagu's harrier pairs was recorded in a rapeseed field in eastern Poland. The breeding colony arose due to a shortage of crops of suitable height in the period of nest building, caused by unfavourable weather conditions and a delayed onset of vegetation growth. The mean clutch size and hatchling number was 3.62, and the mean number of chicks in pairs that bred successfully was 2.00. Losses in broods due to predation and farming treatments were low (2% and 6%, respectively).
Book
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Harriers are a charismatic group of birds of prey with a worldwide distribution and occur on every continent bar Antarctica. Here for the first time the ecology and behaviour of the world's harriers is treated within one cover, in readily accessible language. There are detailed comparisons of northern and southern species, descriptions of their polygynous mating systems and population dynamics life histories, and insights into the selection pressures shaping the birds' life histories. The author addresses such questions as how females choose partners against their apparent self- interest, how they adjust to prevailing circumstances to produce the optimal egg and clutch size, and what underlies variations in size dimorphism and copulation patterns. New information resulting from a DNA examination of the group reveals three new harrier species and allows construction of the first phylogeny of the world's harriers. The author's twin brother brings the book to life by fine original line drawings of these impressive birds. It will be a treat for all raptor biologists, amateur raptophiles, and behavioral ecologists interested in mating systems, sperm depletion, optimal clutch size and other facets of this specialised group of raptors.
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In 2005–2011 active conservation and study on the population of the Montagu’s Harrier was conducted in the farmland areas of east-central Poland. The population was estimated at 240–270 breeding pairs and its size was stable. The mean clutch size was estimated at 3.71 eggs per breeding pair. The number of fledglings was 1.24 per nest and 2.6 per successful breeding pair. There were no significant differences in sex ratio. The birds nested mainly in winter cereal and rape (70%). Population productivity positively correlated with a high number of nests located in late harvested crops. The pairs breeding in early harvested crops had significantly lower breeding success (10%) than the pairs nesting in winter cereal (>70%), due to losses during farming activities. Protection of broods with fencing had a positive effect on the breeding success of pairs nesting on arable fields. An important factor that had a negative impact on the breeding success of Montagu’s Harriers was adverse weather conditions.2005–2011 metais buvo vykdoma pievinių lingių intensyvi apsauga ir rūšies populiacijos tyrimai rytų centrinės Lenkijos dirbamuose laukuose. Pievinių lingių populiaciją sudarė 240–270 perinčių porų, vidutinis dėties dydis – 3,71 kiaušiniai vienai perinčiai porai, jauniklių skaičius – 1,24 jaunikliai vienam lizdui ir 2,6 jaunikliai vienai sėkmingai perėjusiai porai. Ryškaus skirtumo tarp patinų ir patelių skaičiaus nepastebėta. Paukščiai daugiausiai perėjo žieminių kultūrų ir rapso laukuose (70%). Populiacijos produktyvumas teigiamai koreliavo su dideliu lizdų skaičiumi laukuose, kur derlius nuimamas vėlai. Dėl aktyvios žemės ūkio veiklos perėjimo sėkmė buvo žymiai mažesnė laukuose, kur derlius nuimamas anksti (10%), nei žieminėse kultūrose (>70%). Lizdų aptvėrimas turėjo teigiamos įtakos dirbamuose plotuose perėjusių porų perėjimo sėkmei. Nepalankios oro sąlygos darė didelę neigiamą įtaką pievinių lingių perėjimo sėkmei.
Article
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Hen and Montagu's Harriers breed in the same cultivated areas of eastern France. We present data from an extensive study conducted in three adjacent areas where 757 nests of the two harriers were monitored between 1993 and 2000, with the aim of comparing the breeding ecology of these two species and to evaluate their possible future trends. Breeding habitat for harriers consisted nearly exclusively of winter cereals, causing great conservation concern in this intensively farmed region. The Hen Harrier was almost absent from two of the study areas. This species showed significantly larger clutch size and higher breeding success than the Montagu's Harrier, and an earlier breeding phenology. It was thus less adversely affected by harvesting activities than Montagu's Harrier. Both species showed a reduced breeding success with increasing laying date. There was a large diet overlap between the two spe- cies, possibly leading to competitive interactions. Overall, the Montagu's Harrier should be considered as the more vulnerable of the two species, necessitating conservation measures, such as protection of nests from early harvesting activities. Nevertheless, to maintain both species in agricultural habitats, farming practices that preserve sufficient food should also be promoted.
Article
The Montagu’s Harrier breeds, rests and winters at a number of permanent spots. This was discovered by biologist Christiane Trierweiler, who tracked the birds of prey all year. The bird’s attachment to its homes may be a form of protection. Trierweiler will be awarded a PhD for her research on 29 October 2010 by the University of Groningen. Mowing machines in Groningen that destroy their nests, African pesticides in their food, long flights over water and deserts – the life of a Montagu’s Harrier is not easy. In order to improve the protection of this endangered bird of prey, Trierweiler, together with the Werkgroep Grauwe Kiekendief (Montagu’s Harrier Work Group), has been collecting information on its breeding locations, migratory routes and winter locations. She has been following the Montagu’s Harrier on its entire yearly cycle, wherever it goes. Pellets ‘We now have 44 birds with transmitters on their backs’, says Trierweiler. This way she can remotely track the birds’ exact locations. ‘The special thing about this research is that we are combining this technology with basic fieldwork’. For example, Trierweiler and her colleagues drove many kilometres through African fields to find the Harriers’ sleeping locations, and collected pellets in order to analyze eating patterns. Satellite transmitters were distributed from the Netherlands to Eastern Poland and Belarus. A large number of researchers and volunteers helped with the international project. Oldambt Trierweiler’s elaborate research led to a number of important discoveries. One of these was that the Montagu’s Harrier returns to the same collection of homes. It breeds at a number of locations throughout Europe, including Oldambt in Groningen. After the breeding season it flies to familiar locations in Africa to spend the winter there. ‘We followed a female for three years and saw that she kept returning to the same locations, in areas of 50 by 50 kilometres’, says Trierweiler. Though the Montagu’s Harrier will move its breeding areas from time to time, it appears to be loyal to its winter locations. ‘We thought that it would be more flexible in the winter, when it has no nest. But apparently that is when it likes familiar areas'. Grasshoppers The female that Trierweiler followed had three fixed winter locations that she returned to every year. One of these was immediately after the Sahel, at the first green area she encountered after the long flight. Before Trierweiler’s research it was assumed that the Harrier would then migrate with migratory grasshoppers. But even in years without migratory grasshoppers, the birds follow the same route. Analysis of pellets revealed that the Harriers eat non-migratory grasshoppers, as well as birds and reptiles. ‘They migrate from North to South and remain exactly in the zone where there is the most food at a particular time’. Protection The Montagu’s Harrier’s loyalty to certain areas makes it easier to protect its habitats. For example, by ensuring that only organic pesticides are used in these areas, we can protect the bird of prey from poisoning. In Europe it is possible to actively search for nests in order to stop them from being destroyed by the blades of mowing machines. ‘If a nesting female is killed, any reproductive contribution she may have had is also wiped out’, says Trierweiler. Moreover, agrarian nature conservation in breeding areas has made it easier for parents to find enough food for their offspring in intensely farmed areas like East Groningen. This contributes to population growth. Werkgroep Grauwe Kiekendief Trierweiler conducted her research on the initiative of the Stichting Werkgroep Grauwe Kiekendief (Montagu’s Harrier Work Group). This foundation from Scheemda aims to protect the bird of prey. ‘It is necessary, as in 1987 there were only two pairs left in the Netherlands. There are now around 50’, says Trierweiler. ‘The Montagu’s Harrier is a wonderful, elegant bird. Also, as a predator at the top of the food chain, it is a good indicator of the condition of the ecosystem. If things are going well with the Montagu’s Harrier, the ecosystem at that location is in good condition'. Resting place The end of her PhD research does not mean the end of Trierweiler’s research on the Montagu’s Harrier. During the research she learned a lot about the Harrier's migratory routes. Among other things, she discovered that many Montagu’s Harriers rest in the same area of Eastern Morocco. Trierweiler made two trips to that area this year. ‘Not much is known about how birds of prey keep their energy levels up during long treks. I want to find out more about that’.
Breeding density of diurnal raptors in the neighbourhood of Susz (Ilawa Lakeland, Poland) in the years 1977-79
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Król W. 1985. Breeding density of diurnal raptors in the neighbourhood of Susz (Ilawa Lakeland, Poland) in the years 1977-79. Acta Ornithologica 21: 95-114.
Die Eier der Vögel Europas
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Makatsch W. 1974. Die Eier der Vögel Europas. Vol. 1. Neumann Verlag, Radebeul.