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Diversity 2019, 11(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11030035

The Common Buzzard Buteo buteo Population in a Changing Environment, Central Poland as a Case Study

1
Department of Forest Ecology, Forest Research Institute, Sękocin Stary, Braci Leśnej 3, 05-090 Raszyn, Poland
2
Department of Forest Zoology and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Forestry, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Nowoursynowska 159, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract

Common buzzard is the most abundant bird of prey in Europe, and its population has undergone serious changes. In this study, we focused on a population in Central Poland (study area 105 km2, forests around 24 km2, seven forest complexes) to analyze how certain environmental factors influenced population abundance, breeding parameters, and diet composition. The study was undertaken from 2011 to 2018, and the results were compared with data from two study periods (1982–1992; 2001–2003). Current population density was 3.5 pairs/10 km2 of total area and 14.3 pairs/10 km2 of forested area, it was negatively correlated to the abundance of northern goshawk, and it grew in the last few decades. Mammals were dominant prey (72.6% prey items, 38.6% of biomass), but their share in diet changed following rodent availability. A decrease in the share of voles was recorded, reflecting drop in their abundance and dampening of abundance cycles. Breeding parameters were similar to those in the past, and the number of offspring depended on small rodent availability. Buzzards adapted to changes in the stand structure, i.e., when share of Scots pine decreased, they chose it as their nesting tree less frequently. All this showed that buzzard is a very adaptable species. View Full-Text
Keywords: field and forest mosaic; rodents; voles; pellets; population density; breeding parameters; northern goshawk; changes in stand structure field and forest mosaic; rodents; voles; pellets; population density; breeding parameters; northern goshawk; changes in stand structure
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Gryz, J.; Krauze-Gryz, D. The Common Buzzard Buteo buteo Population in a Changing Environment, Central Poland as a Case Study. Diversity 2019, 11, 35.

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