Strebel, N., T. Roth & D. Weber
(* = Kurzbeitrag)
Die Existenz des Modellflugplatzes in der Selzacherwiti beeinflusst die Verteilung der Feldlerchen Alauda arvensis während der Brutzeit nicht.
(von 1994 bis 2006 vergeben)
Dichte, Lebensraum, Störungen, Modellflugplatz
Selzacherwiti, Selzach, Solothurn, Schweiz
The existence of a model flight zone does not affect the distribution of Skylarks Alauda arvensis during breeding season – a case study. Several studies show that birds might be disturbed by radio-controlled airplane (RCA) activity, particularly waterbirds and species inhabiting wetlands and wet meadows. However, some other bird species did not show any obvious reactions on RCAs. RCA flights are mainly conducted over agricultural area, but there is a lack of studies that investigate the reactions of agricultural species on RCAs. Hence there is no scientific basis to assess whether species that are most exposed to RCAs are likely to be disturbed or not. The purpose of this article is to add a small piece of knowledge to a topic that is currently subject of discussions. Our study site is an agriculturally used area of approximately three square kilometers, located in the canton of Solothurn, Switzerland. During breeding season, it harbors a high density of Skylarks Alauda arvensis. Since several years, part of the area is used for RCA activity. In spring 2013 a breeding bird survey was conducted on the whole area. During three observation rounds, the position of every observed individual was registered on a map. Based on that, we built up a habitat model considering habitat elements that potentially affect the distribution of Skylarks. We conducted three different analyses and included as habitat element (1) the area overflown by RCAs, (2) the area overflown by RCAs with a buffer of 200 m and (3) the area overflown by RCAs with a buffer of 500 m. We fitted the habitat model as a GLM and conducted bootstrapping to get reliable inferences of the parameter estimates. Skylarks occurred less close to the railway (with parallel high-voltage power line) and less close to populated area, buildings or trees. Skylark density did not show to be negatively affected by RCA activity, neither in the area directly overflown, nor in the buffer area. With this case study we would like to encourage researchers for further investigations. We stress that in order to minimize a potentially negative influence on wildlife, there is a need for a broader knowledge on this topic.
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