BREEDING BIOLOGY OF ROOK (CORVUS FRUGILEGUS) IN THE HUMAN TRANSFORMED STEPPE ECOSYSTEMS (THE CASE OF BOTIEVO WIND FARM)

A. O. Dranga, P. I. Gorlov, A. V. Matsyura, R. Budgey

Abstract


The article gives a space-structural characteristic of rook (Corvus frugilegus) nesting places in the territory of Botievo wind farm (Zaporizhzhia region). The distribution of the rook colonies around the territory, the structure of the colonies, the dependence of the location of the nests on the height, diameter, condition and species composition of tree and shrub plantings are analyzed and studied. The types and methods of the localization of nests in the trees and their quantitative characteristics are highlighted. The consortium relations of the rook and the risks associated with living near existing wind turbines are described.

In 2015 some eight colonies were found: 2 medium (51-100 nests) and 6 large (101-500 nests) ones. All the colonies were located in the forest belts, mainly represented by locust trees Gleditsia triacanthos (7 colonies) and in the mixed forest consisting of the mulberry Morus sp., maple Acer, black locust Robinia pseudoacacia, and locust trees (1 colony). The area occupied by colonies had a four-fold difference between 977-3994 m2, while the number of the rook nests fluctuated in a seven-fold range - 52-343 nests.

Analysis of different indicators describing the structure of the rook colonies revealed certain dependence between the breeding area and the number of the occupied trees (r = 0.97); the breeding area and the number of nests (r = 0.60); the number of nests in the colony and the closeness of the trees in the forest belts (r = 0.91); the number of nests and the number of the occupied trees (r = 0.74), the height of the tree and the nest on it (r = 0.64). The characteristic of the location of nests in different rows of the forest belt revealed the shift of the density of the occupation of trees in large colonies to one of the outer rows, where there were 26.0-27.5 percent of all the nests.

Typology and localization of rook nests in the trees has 11 options of the location. The type of the location of nests near the trunk of the tree dominated (57.4 percent of trees and 64.5 percent of all nests). It is shown that rooks demonstrate the plasticity of the nesting behaviour to the changing environmental conditions.

Keywords: Rook (Corvus frugilegus), Zaporizhia region, wind farm, nesting area, colony structure, spatial distribution, colony.


Keywords


Rook (Corvus frugilegus); Zaporizhia region; wind farm; nesting area; colony structure; spatial distribution; colony

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15421/201603

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