Special Issue "Conservation and Ecology of Raptors"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2022 | Viewed by 660

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Vladimir D. Dobrev
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds/BirdLife Bulgaria, 5, Leonardo Da Vinci Str., Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria
Interests: conservation biology; raptor ecology; bird migration; scavengers; biodiversity
Dr. Dobromir D. Dobrev
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds/BirdLife Bulgaria, 5, Leonardo Da Vinci Str., Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria
Interests: raptors; scavengers; conservation ecology; behavioural ecology; spatial ecology; movement
Dr. Dimitar A. Demerdzhiev
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds/ BirdLife Bulgaria, 5, Leonardo Da Vinci Str., Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria
Interests: conservation biology; raptor ecology; bird migration; dietary research; niche overlapping; raptor ethology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Raptors are a diverse avian guild distributed worldwide and adapted to different environments. They have attracted a strong interest from scientists because of their conservation status and ecology. Raptors provide critical ecosystem services based on their role in natural food chains. Raptors have evolved ecologically to adapt and specialize to different habitats and prey species. Thus, they are subject to a wide range of biological, ecological and evolutionary studies. At present, this guild of birds faces a high risk of extinction due to numerous threats that occur in their breeding, migration and wintering areas. Globally, eighteen percent of raptors are threatened with extinction and 52% of raptors have declining populations. Raptors stand at the top of food pyramids and normally occur at low densities over vast areas. Some species are long-distance migrants while others are sedentary. Hence, they cover a huge range of habitats and environments and interact with humans during their migration, wintering and breeding. Therefore, they play a keystone role in the conservation of ecosystems and are assumed as flagship species in relation to other species. Understanding and studying their demography, abundance, diet, resource selection, movements, ecological requirements and threats will provide valuable information about current ecosystem functioning and status.

This Special Issue will provide information regarding the current state of raptors across the world and their role in global conservation priorities.

Dr. Vladimir D. Dobrev
Dr. Dobromir D. Dobrev
Dr. Dimitar A. Demerdzhiev
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • raptor ecology
  • migration ecology
  • demography
  • population dynamics
  • habitat
  • threats and conservation management
  • diet
  • home range

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
Importance of Mesohabitat for Nest-Site Selection in Breeding Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo): A Multi-Scale Model
Diversity 2022, 14(6), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14060438 - 30 May 2022
Viewed by 385
Abstract
Apex predators make excellent bioindicators of habitat quality and anthropogenic changes. Eagle owls (Bubo bubo) are such apex and keystone predators, who show preferential nest-site selection, usually away from human activities and habitation. However, Israel is a small country with a [...] Read more.
Apex predators make excellent bioindicators of habitat quality and anthropogenic changes. Eagle owls (Bubo bubo) are such apex and keystone predators, who show preferential nest-site selection, usually away from human activities and habitation. However, Israel is a small country with a burgeoning human population. Hence, in order to understand the habitat requirements of eagle owls in central Israel, we conducted a multi-scale model analysis on their existing nest sites between 2006 and 2010. We identified 203 successful breeding attempts at 73 different sites. Our data suggested that the breeding population of the eagle owls was limited by the availability of quality nest locations, i.e., quarries, and caves. The probability of an eagle pair breeding increased with the presence of both quarries and caves, but was not related to mesohabitat properties. In addition, eagle owl breeding densities were positively related to the number of nest localities and to the planted woodlands. Furthermore, we found that eagle owls successfully raised their young regardless of the surrounding mesohabitat and sought the presence of other potential nest sites in the vicinity of the active nest sites, most likely due to the owls’ opportunistic and generalist hunting behavior, which facilitated the consumption of a wide prey base. Appropriate nest sites (quarries and caves) appeared to increase population numbers and, therefore, should be protected Further studies should determine whether increasing artificial nest sites and reclaiming abandoned quarries could increase eagle owl numbers in a sustainable manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation and Ecology of Raptors)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: Selection of nesting habitat and insular niche separation of two sympatric Aquila species
Authors: Solanou Maria; Trypidaki Eirini; Georgopoulou Elsa; Damianakis Kostis; Kardamaki Afroditi; Xirouchakis S.
Affiliation: University of Crete, School of Sciences & Engineering, Natural History Museum, University Campus (Knossos), Heraklion 71409, Crete
Abstract: Aquila chrysaetos and Aquila fasciata are two congeneric eagle species that coexist on the island of Crete, Greece and are supposed to compete with each other. The current project's goals were to forecast suitable nesting sites, and assess the degree of niche overlap on Crete. Georeferenced data on the species’ nesting locations collected between 1980-2020 were used and correlated with environmental, land cover and human related variables under the framework of Species Distribution Modeling. Following, variables that were important for both species were examined, using Wilcoxon signed-rank test, in order to detect interspecific variation. The Maximum Entropy approach was used to create prediction maps of habitat suitability for each species' nesting sites, and the niche similarity indices D and I were calculated. Furthermore, the PAT (Predicting Aquila Territory) methodology was implemented to identify high-usage areas within each territory. The main variable that explained the distribution of both species' nesting locations was slope, followed by the Enhanced Vegetation Index of winter months. Spatial and ecological differentiation of the two species' nesting locations on Crete were revealed by all statistical analysis.

2. Title: Territory Settlement Strategies in Young Golden Eagles Aquila chrysaetos: Variation in Reconnaissance Behaviours
Author:
Highlights: How young large raptors strategize their natal (juvenile) dispersal movements in settling on a territory for breeding is poorly studied. Using GPS-tag data, we found a wide diversity of pre-settlement visitations to future territories: from repeated to none. This diversity is examined according to the prior status of the settled territory (occupied/vacant) and the age and sex of tagged birds.

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