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Habitat Selection by the European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus in North-Eastern Poland: Implications for Forest Management

Institute of Biology, University of Szczecin, Wąska 13, PL-71-412 Szczecin, Poland
Ptaki Polskie Society, Dolistowska 21, PL-19-110 Goniądz, Poland
Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, Prusa 12, PL-08-110 Siedlce, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 291;
Received: 4 February 2020 / Revised: 29 February 2020 / Accepted: 2 March 2020 / Published: 6 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Research Highlights: Intensive forest management practices generally have a negative effect on biodiversity. However, the creation of new, open habitats as a consequence of timber harvesting within large areas of woodland may be favorable to some bird species. Background and Objectives: Habitat selection of the European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus in a coniferous woodland area in northeastern Poland was studied in order to specify management recommendations. Materials and Methods: To define the influence of various environmental parameters on territory occupation, 11 micro- and 3 macrohabitat factors were analyzed. Results: Denser vegetation in the ground layer deterred birds from nesting in clearings with such characteristics. Moreover, Nightjars preferentially inhabited sites adjacent to young stands of trees. Birds preferred plots with a higher number of clearings in the neighborhood, as this enabled them to enlarge their foraging area. Other microhabitat factors (e.g., the type, age and area of clearings), as well as macroscale factors like distances to the forest edge, nearest roads and human settlements, were of no importance. Conclusions: Knowledge of the Nightjar preferences may be useful in working out a compromise between an appropriate level of clear-felling and conservation of other bird species requiring preservation of old tree stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: habitat factors; forest management; breeding territory; clearings habitat factors; forest management; breeding territory; clearings
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Polakowski, M.; Broniszewska, M.; Kirczuk, L.; Kasprzykowski, Z. Habitat Selection by the European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus in North-Eastern Poland: Implications for Forest Management. Forests 2020, 11, 291.

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