Old World vultures are experiencing dramatic population declines and now are among the species most threatened with extinction. Understanding the environmental variables that can influence the reproductive indexes of vulture populations can facilitate both habitat and species management. The aim of this study was to identify which environmental variables primarily affect the breeding successes of the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus in northern Sardinia by applying a Bayesian hierarchical model. A unique dataset of reproductive records (197 nests monitored over 39 years for a total of 992 breeding records) was used. Eight environmental and topographical variables describing the habitat at the nesting sites were considered as potential predictors of breeding success. These included mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, isothermality, elevation, the normalized difference vegetation index, wind speed, and the aspect and slope of the land surface. In addition, we also considered the effect of human disturbance and the type of nest. According to our best model, the probability of successfully raising a chick in Griffon Vultures was higher in nests exposed to a high wind speed, not covered by natural shelters, where the vegetation was mostly represented by shrub and pastures, with low human disturbance and in years with low rainfall. This model will be useful for management of the breeding habitat and to identify the area most suitable for Griffon Vulture reproduction. This information is crucial for programming conservation measures aimed at enlarging the area of occupancy of the species.

Modelling the effect of environmental variables on the reproductive success of Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Sardinia, Italy / Aresu, M.; Pennino, M. G.; De Rosa, D.; Rotta, A.; Berlinguer, F.. - In: IBIS. - ISSN 0019-1019. - 164:1(2022), pp. 255-266. [10.1111/ibi.13012]

Modelling the effect of environmental variables on the reproductive success of Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Sardinia, Italy

Aresu M.;De Rosa D.;Rotta A.;Berlinguer F.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Old World vultures are experiencing dramatic population declines and now are among the species most threatened with extinction. Understanding the environmental variables that can influence the reproductive indexes of vulture populations can facilitate both habitat and species management. The aim of this study was to identify which environmental variables primarily affect the breeding successes of the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus in northern Sardinia by applying a Bayesian hierarchical model. A unique dataset of reproductive records (197 nests monitored over 39 years for a total of 992 breeding records) was used. Eight environmental and topographical variables describing the habitat at the nesting sites were considered as potential predictors of breeding success. These included mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, isothermality, elevation, the normalized difference vegetation index, wind speed, and the aspect and slope of the land surface. In addition, we also considered the effect of human disturbance and the type of nest. According to our best model, the probability of successfully raising a chick in Griffon Vultures was higher in nests exposed to a high wind speed, not covered by natural shelters, where the vegetation was mostly represented by shrub and pastures, with low human disturbance and in years with low rainfall. This model will be useful for management of the breeding habitat and to identify the area most suitable for Griffon Vulture reproduction. This information is crucial for programming conservation measures aimed at enlarging the area of occupancy of the species.
2022
Modelling the effect of environmental variables on the reproductive success of Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Sardinia, Italy / Aresu, M.; Pennino, M. G.; De Rosa, D.; Rotta, A.; Berlinguer, F.. - In: IBIS. - ISSN 0019-1019. - 164:1(2022), pp. 255-266. [10.1111/ibi.13012]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/284138
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