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Ekologija  2008 

Breeding ecology of lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) in floodplains of the Nemunas River delta in 2006-2007

DOI: 10.2478/V10055-008-0003-3

Keywords: lapwing, flooded meadows, nest-site characteristics, nest fate, polders

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Investigations of the breeding ecology of lapwings were carried out in 2006-2007 in five colonies, in the seasonally flooded meadows of the Nemunas River delta; 63 and 73 breeding pairs were recorded and 49 and 62 nests were monitored in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Lapwings were breeding in a relatively homogeneous open and short-grassland (stem height <8 cm) environment. The main differences of breeding conditions among colonies were seasonal and annual dynamics of spring floods, activity of predatory mammals, and grass burning. Lapwings tended to inhabit the periphery of flooded areas (most frequently 10-20 m from open water) and particularly terrain elevations surrounded by water. Long-lasting dampness, later cattle grazing dates, fertile alliuval soil, and relatively low damage of predators are considered as the most important factors that create favourable breeding habitats for the species. Certain measures to improve lapwing breeding conditions in seasonally flooded meadows are offered.


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