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NotificationsNotify me of updates to REFLECTIONS OF WINTER SEASON LARGESCALE CLIMATIC PHENOMENA AND LOCAL WEATHER CONDITIONS IN ABUNDANCE AND BREEDING FREQUENCY OF VOLE-EATING BIRDS OF PREY
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REFLECTIONS OF WINTER SEASON LARGESCALE CLIMATIC PHENOMENA AND LOCAL WEATHER CONDITIONS IN ABUNDANCE AND BREEDING FREQUENCY OF VOLE-EATING BIRDS OF PREY $100.00
Authors:  Tapio Solonen and Pertti Saurola
Abstract:
We examined long-term (1986–2008) data on the number of
occupied territories and breeding frequency (active nests) of nine species
of vole-eating birds of prey in southernmost Finland, using generalized
linear models. Explaining variables included wintertime and monthly
large-scale climatic conditions indicated by North Atlantic Oscillation
(NAO), mean winter and monthly mean ambient temperature and depth
of snow cover at five local weather stations, as well as indices of autumn
and spring abundance of voles at three localities within or near to the
study area. The birds of prey included six site-tenacious species, of which
four (Bubo bubo, Glaucidium passerinum, Strix aluco, Strix uralensis)
were mainly sedentary and two (Circus aeruginosus, Buteo buteo)migratory ones, and three more or less nomadic species (Falco
tinnunculus, Asio otus, Aegolius funereus). We expected that climatic
effects were expressed in the numbers and breeding performance of birds
of prey largely via their effects on highly fluctuating vole populations. In
accordance with earlier findings, numbers and breeding of vole-eaters
were largely governed by the abundance of small voles, confirming the
suitability of our data to the present purpose. Large-scale climatic
phenomena, indicating mild winter conditions, presented a nearly
significant positive influence on the numbers and breeding frequency of
southerly distributed site-tenacious species (Buteo buteo, Bubo bubo,
Strix aluco). The combined effect of vole abundance and local mean
winter temperature was negative both in sedentary Strix aluco and
nomadic Falco tinnunculus. High temperatures in the beginning and at
the end of winter showed positive associations. Thick snow cover
combined with vole abundance showed positive associations with
numbers and breeding frequency of various kinds of vole-eating birds of
prey. The results followed largely our expectations though the link via
vole abundance was inadequately demonstrated. Our results suggest that
the effects of global warming on various vole-eating birds of prey at high
latitudes were both positive and negative, in particular due to mild
winters. This would lead to changes in local populations and distribution
ranges of species. Due to their flexible moving habits, nomadic species
might be less seriously affected than site-tenacious ones that are more
dependent on local resources, such as nest sites. From a local point of
view and during a short period of time, however, the impact seemed to be
more pronounced on nomadic species due to their sudden and drastic
shifts. 


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REFLECTIONS OF WINTER SEASON LARGESCALE CLIMATIC PHENOMENA AND LOCAL WEATHER CONDITIONS IN ABUNDANCE AND BREEDING FREQUENCY OF VOLE-EATING BIRDS OF PREY