Reproductive success of the white stork Ciconia ciconia population in intensively cultivated farmlands in Western Poland

Authors: Jakub Z. KOSICKI

E-mail: kubako@amu.edu.pl

Published: Volume 57(2), December 2010. Pages 243-255.

Language: English

Keywords: success, Ciconia ciconia, clutch size, habitat structure and weather

Summary:

This work analyses reproductive data about the white stork in Western Poland, from 2003 to 2007 and shows how the main environmental factors (weather, habitat structure and NDVI) influence breeding parameters. Moreover, a meta-analysis of density and reproduction for 33 local populations in Central Europe was performed. The data come from 824 inspections of 227 nests. The population studied was characterised by the low density of breeding pairs 4.5 (2.8-6.6) pairs/100 km2. The median of the first and second arrival dates was 1st and 11th April and differed significantly in different years. Clutch size (mean 3.81) and egg measurements (71.55 x 51.56 mm) did not differ among years, a result that may indicate low inter annual variance in feeding conditions at the onset of a breeding season. The highest seasonal differences in breeding output (mean 2.96 young per nest) were found during the nestling stage, which is a crucial period for nestling production and, in consequence, breeding output. The number of chicks was positively affected by weather conditions, i.e. air temperature, and negatively related to precipitation. Meta-analysis of local stork populations in Central Europe showed that, despite differences in breeding density, breeding success was similar in areas of low and high human population. In the case of the white stork, breeding density might be one of the key factors that affects overall breeding success by depending on strong competition for food as well as nest locations

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