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Rahman M.L.,University of Northampton | Rahman M.L.,International Wildlife Consultants Ltd | Tarrant S.,University of Northampton | McCollin D.,University of Northampton | Ollerton J.,University of Northampton
Zoology and Ecology | Year: 2015

There is an increasing evidence that rare and scarce carabid species of conservation importance are frequent in brownfield sites such as restored landfills. However, this potential has largely been unexplored. The present study was undertaken to examine carabid species composition, richness and abundance in relation to habitat quality and landscape structure on landfill sites in comparison with paired reference sites of existing wildlife value. Sampling was conducted by collecting carabids in ten pitfall traps set along two 100 m transects on each of nine restored landfill sites and their paired reference sites in the East Midlands region of the UK. A total of 1014 individuals representing 37 carabid species were found during April-September of 2007 and 2008. On the surveyed landfill sites, generalist species were common, while no nationally rare or scarce species were found. Neither species richness nor diversity of carabid species was found to be different from that of the reference sites. Seeding during restoration was found to have a strong positive effect on richness and diversity, with seeded landfill sites tending to be similar to reference sites in terms of carabid species composition. Marked differences in diversity and richness were also attributed to variation in the amount of local vegetation cover, with the presence of grasslands in the surrounding landscape having a positive effect on carabid assemblages. We suggest that initial seeding may be an appropriate conservation strategy to improve beetle diversity and richness, coupled with management in terms of mowing to increase the potential of these sites for carabid conservation at the landscape scale. © 2015 Nature Research Centre. Source


Dixon A.,International Wildlife Consultants Ltd | Maming R.,Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography | Gunga A.,Wildlife Science and Conservation Center | Purev-Ochir G.,Wildlife Science and Conservation Center | Batbayar N.,Wildlife Science and Conservation Center
Bird Conservation International | Year: 2013

We report a large number of raptors electrocuted on recently erected electricity distribution lines in the open landscapes of the Mongolian steppe and Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, China. Upland Buzzards Buteo hemilasius and Saker Falcons Falco cherrug, characteristic raptors of these bioregions, were among those found to be electrocuted. Raptor electrocution was a consequence of poorly designed hardware configurations on anchor poles along surveyed lines on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and, additionally, on line poles in the Mongolian steppe. The design flaws were upright pin-insulators on earthed crossarms and the use of jump wires that passed over crossarms via pin insulators on anchor poles. Targeted mitigation of anchor poles could significantly reduce the incidence of electrocution on the lines surveyed on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, whilst all poles on the lines surveyed in the Mongolian steppe require remediation to make them safe for raptors. The Mongolian steppe and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau are bioregions that hold the largest breeding and wintering populations of the globally threatened Saker Falcon. The existing and growing network of dangerous electricity distribution lines in these regions may potentially impact the Saker Falcon population, thus we suggest that preventative and/or mitigation measures are implemented. © BirdLife International 2013. Source


Ragyov D.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Biserkov V.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Gradev G.,Green Balkans Federation NGOs | Ivanov I.,Green Balkans Federation NGOs | And 4 more authors.
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2014

Evidence for the presence of sakers in Bulgaria dates from 1500-3000 years ago. The first documented records of breeding sakers go back to the 13thcentury. We collected 337 breeding records of sakers in Bulgaria (1860-2013), comprising 176 locations (52 Confirmed, 16 Probable and 108 Possible). Our study suggests that in the 19thcentury the species was scarce and/or localised in its distribution range, with a declining population. The decline has continued through 20thand 21stCenturies. Recently, 94% of the total number of the known breeding locations were surveyed (N=165; including all Probable and Confirmed locations and 90% of the Possible locations). The survey covered 31,000 km2(c. 28% of Bulgarian territory) and revealed more than 33% of the known breeding populations of Long-legged Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Golden Eagle, Imperial Eagle and Egyptian Vulture. Only 3 sakers (single birds) were recorded in 2011, 2012 and 2013, with no further confirmation for the breeding. The last documented Confirmed breeding records were in 1997 (a successfully fledged young) and 1998 (the nest failed during the nestling period). The restoration of the saker breeding population requires an integrated approach, by operating at various scales from the landscape to the species level. Source


Rahman M.L.,University of Northampton | Rahman M.L.,International Wildlife Consultants Ltd | Tarrant S.,University of Northampton | McCollin D.,University of Northampton | Ollerton J.,University of Northampton
Journal for Nature Conservation | Year: 2013

Biodiversity conservation through restoring degraded habitats or creating new habitats is advocated in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Restored grasslands on capped landfill sites are semi-natural habitats that could potentially support a wide range of plant communities. However, it is unknown whether these re-created habitats represent a significant resource in terms of biodiversity conservation. The UK National Vegetation Classification (NVC) was used to study these communities on nine restored capped landfill sites together with paired reference sites in the East Midlands region of the UK during 2007. Plant species data were collected by random quadrats along two 100. m transects from each site. The effects of restoration were investigated by examining plant attributes and Ellenberg indicators on restored landfill sites in comparison to paired reference sites. A total of 170 plant species were found from both sets of sites. There were no significant differences for most of the plant attributes between restored landfill sites and reference sites, though reference sites had significantly higher mean frequencies of native plants, nationally decreasing species and perennial species. In total 26 broad NVC community types were identified of which more than 70% fell within mesotrophic grassland (MG). The diversity of NVC communities confirms that underlying environmental factors such as soil fertility are important, dictating the type of plant communities that exist. It is recommended that management of these capped landfill sites should be targeted towards specific NVC community types to meet conservation targets. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. Source


Dixon A.,International Wildlife Consultants Ltd | Purev-Ochir G.,Wildlife Science and Conservation Center | Galtbalt B.,Wildlife Science and Conservation Center | Batbayar N.,Wildlife Science and Conservation Center
Journal of Raptor Research | Year: 2013

The use of power line support structures as nesting sites enables some raptors and corvids to increase their breeding range and/or density in landscapes where alternative nest sites are limited. We report on the use of power poles for nesting by two nest-building species, Common Raven (Corvus corax) and Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius), and two falcon species, Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) and Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) in the nest-site-limited steppes of central Mongolia. Various power pole designs differed in their attractiveness to nest-building species, with structures that provided stable support and shelter being significantly favored. Trials of artificial nest barrels to (i) provide alternative nest sites on favored nesting support structures and (ii) provide additional nest sites on unfavored support structures, failed to induce nest-building species to shift their nest location in the first instance or to increase overall breeding density of large raptors and corvids in the second case. However, both trials resulted in large increases in the number of nesting Eurasian Kestrels. © 2013 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc. Source

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