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Journal Article

Foraging Habitat Selection, Land-Use Changes and Population Decline in the Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni

J. A. Donazar, J. J. Negro, F. Hiraldo and Fernando Hiraldo
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 30, No. 3 (1993), pp. 515-522
DOI: 10.2307/2404191
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2404191
Page Count: 8
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Foraging Habitat Selection, Land-Use Changes and Population Decline in the Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
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Abstract

1. The selection of foraging habitats by nine radio-tagged adult lesser kestrels (Falco naumanni) breeding in one colony in southern Spain, was studied in 1989 and 1990. Despite individual differences in the feeding habitat, there was a general tendency for grassland to be used more, and sunflower and woodlots to be used less, than expected by their availability. 2. The relatively higher food availability (measured as the number of hovering bouts by the lesser kestrels to catch one prey) of grasslands and cereals would explain the kestrels' preference for these habitats. 3. Since the 1950s, uncultivated grasslands in the area have decreased drastically and have been replaced by new crops, such as sunflowers. If grasslands continue to decrease in southern Spain, the progressive decline of lesser kestrel populations will probably continue in those areas.

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