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Bionda R.,Parco Naturale Alpe Veglia e Devero Alta Valle Antrona | Brambilla M.,Fondazione Lombardia per lAmbiente
Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2012

We investigated the effects of habitat structure and composition, rainfall and nest spacing on the productivity of an Eagle Owl Bubo bubo population in Piedmont, northern Italy, at 10 sites from 1996 to 2007. We modeled the effects of the above factors on the productivity of 85 breeding attempts through a mixed model procedure. The number of fledged young per pair was affected positively by wetland interspersion index (a potential estimate of prey abundance) and negatively by rainfall during chick-rearing and by cover of urbanized land in the nest surroundings. Our results demonstrated that productivity can be affected by a variety of factors of different kinds, which should be considered together in studies on habitat quality. © 2011 Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V.

Capsule The potential range of Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala in Lombardy, northern Italy, is restricted to the small area actually occupied by a tiny and isolated population; distribution modelling suggests that both climatic and habitat features contribute to the observed correspondence between the potential and realized range. © 2014 British Trust for Ornithology

Brambilla M.,Fondazione Lombardia per lAmbiente | Gustin M.,Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli LIPU | Celada C.,Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli LIPU
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2011

Setting favourable reference values (FRV) for conservation targets may help in assessing the conservation status of species and habitats. FRVs should be expressed through population size or demographic parameters that are likely to ensure the long-term persistence of a species across its range. We developed a conceptual framework for defining FRVs for Italian birds included in Annex I of the European Unions Wild Birds Directive 79/409/CEE. The approach was based on demographic trends, current population size and the minimum viable population concept. We subdivided bird species according to abundance at the national scale, spatial distribution in discrete isolated populations and/or biogeographic categories. FRVs based on population viability analysis (PVA) were provided for populations of less than 2,500 pairs. For species with more than 2,500 pairs and a wide, more or less continuous range, the FRV was expressed in terms of breeding density at different spatial scales for non-colonial species. Out of the 88 species considered, we were able to formulate FRVs based on PVA for 47 populations belonging to 21 species, and breeding density for 15 further species; lack of adequate data prevented us from defining FRVs for the remaining species. Further work should focus on the translation of FRV density values into population size and on the definition of reference values for range and habitat. © 2010 BirdLife International.

Brambilla M.,Fondazione Lombardia per lAmbiente | Fulco E.,Studio Naturalistico Milvus | Gustin M.,Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli LIPU BirdLife Italia | Celada C.,Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli LIPU BirdLife Italia
Bird Study | Year: 2013

Capsule We analysed habitat preferences of Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica of the eastern subspecies (O. hispanica melanoleuca) in South Italy, considering 1-ha (coinciding with territory size) square plots (49 occupied and 49 unoccupied). We used multi-adaptive regression splines to model habitat preferences. Black-eared Wheatear occurrence was positively associated with three factors: aspect (a SE orientation was preferred), cover of grazed grassland and cover of bare ground. Species conservation should be based on the maintenance of grazed grasslands, especially on SE-facing slopes, and including at least 2500 m2 of bare ground per ha. © 2013 British Trust for Ornithology.

Jedlikowski J.,University of Warsaw | Chibowski P.,University of Warsaw | Karasek T.,University of Warsaw | Brambilla M.,Fondazione Lombardia per lAmbiente
Acta Oecologica | Year: 2016

Habitat selection often involves choices made at different spatial scales, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood, and studies that investigate the relative importance of individual scales are rare. We investigated the effect of three spatial scales (landscape, territory, nest-site) on the occurrence pattern of little crake Zapornia parva and water rail Rallus aquaticus at 74 ponds in the Masurian Lakeland, Poland. Habitat structure, food abundance and water chemical parameters were measured at nests and random points within landscape plots (from 300-m to 50-m radius), territory (14-m) and nest-site plots (3-m). Regression analyses suggested that the most relevant scale was territory level, followed by landscape, and finally by nest-site for both species. Variation partitioning confirmed this pattern for water rail, but also highlighted the importance of nest-site (the level explaining the highest share of unique variation) for little crake. The most important variables determining the occurrence of both species were water body fragmentation (landscape), vegetation density (territory) and water depth (at territory level for little crake, and at nest-site level for water rail). Finally, for both species multi-scale models including factors from different levels were more parsimonious than single-scale ones, i.e. habitat selection was likely a multi-scale process. The importance of particular spatial scales seemed more related to life-history traits than to the extent of the scales considered. In the case of our study species, the territory level was highly important likely because both rallids have to obtain all the resources they need (nest site, food and mates) in relatively small areas, the multi-purpose territories they defend. © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS.

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