Nest site selection of the Great Bustard (Otis t. tarda) in Körös-Maros National Park, Eastern Hungary
Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2017
Gizella Janó1 & Zsolt Végvári
Ornis Hungarica 2016. 24(2): 32–45.
Abstract In the present study we aimed to identify factors influencing the spatial distribution of Great Bustard (Otis t. tarda) nests found between 1998 and 2015 in Dévaványa-Ecseg area in Körös-Maros National Park. During the study period covering 17 years, we obtained information on 536 nests, which shows that Great Bustards used the following grassland crop types for breeding: wheat (43.07%), grassland (23.3%), fallow land (14.45%) and alfalfa (7.67%). These nests were found during the following activities: chemical weed control (33.63%), hay-cutting (25.37%), disking (8.55%) and harvesting (7.08%) and other 18 types of activities. To identify the effects of disturbance and environmental factors on the spatial distribution of nests, such as distances to lek sites, roads, settlements and altitude, we formulated generalized linear models. As a result, we found that nest sites were significantly closer to lek sites and farther from human settlements than expected by random sampling. Our results may contribute to the understanding of Great Bustard nest distributions, which can be helpful in nest detection prior to the initiation of disturbing agricultural activities, which is a key issue in the conservation of this bird. This study opens the way to analyze the effects of other environmental factors such as anthropogenic linear objects.