Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 366637
Title Population dynamics and spatial distribution of Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) Portugal
Author(s) Beest, F.M. van; Bremer, L. van den; Boer, W.F. de; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Monteiro, A.E.
Source Bird Conservation International 18 (2008)2. - ISSN 0959-2709 - p. 102 - 117.
Department(s) Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2008
Keyword(s) modeling nesting habitat - neophron-percnopterus - cinereous vultures - aegypius-monachus - age distribution - site selection - cape vulture - land-use - conservation - abundance
Abstract The global decrease of vulture populations has been attributed to several factors, such as food availability, poisoning, human disturbance, or habitat suitability. We studied the effect of factors that vary both spatially and temporally on the nest site distribution of the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus in northeast Portugal, and influence the population dynamics of these cliff-dwelling birds. Several demographic parameters were studied in the field, and the age structure of the population was determined. Additionally we investigated how food availability affected population fluctuations. The vulture population was most sensitive to juvenile mortality according to our model results. Our models showed that a decrease in the present food supply resulted in a decrease in vulture abundance and, moreover, negatively affected the spatial distribution of the species by decreasing the number of breeding pairs per colony. The total quantity of sheep and goat biomass, a greater distance to the nearest unpaved road, and the presence of Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus at the breeding colonies showed a significant positive relationship to the numbers of Griffon Vulture breeding pairs. It is recommended that the available food supply in the most important foraging areas should be monitored and protected. Furthermore, to manage the community of cliff breeding raptors adequately, future research should identify and protect the most suitable breeding areas for each species. Human disturbance should be kept to a minimum by protecting breeding areas, especially in an area like Riba-Côa where species such as the Egyptian Vulture, Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus and Griffon Vulture breed so close to each other.
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