Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 245–252

Habitat partitioning in endangered Cantabrian capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus

  • María-José Bañuelos
  • Mario Quevedo
  • José-Ramón Obeso
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10336-007-0267-5

Cite this article as:
Bañuelos, MJ., Quevedo, M. & Obeso, JR. J Ornithol (2008) 149: 245. doi:10.1007/s10336-007-0267-5

Abstract

The endangered Cantabrian capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantabricus) lives at the southern edge of tetraonids’ distribution range, in entirely deciduous forests. Its conservation planning has been always lek-centred. There is very little information about the specific habitat requirements of hens and broods, even though reproductive success appears to be a limiting factor. We analysed summer surveys from 1997 to 2004, carried out to estimate the reproductive success of the population. We compared the habitat characteristics at different spatial scales of hens with broods, broodless hens, and cocks in summer, with the better known spring habitat in display areas. Summer habitat showed higher proportion of open areas and was associated with more rugged zones at moderate spatial scales (78 ha) than spring habitat at display areas. Cocks and hens showed summer habitat partitioning; hens were associated with higher proportions of open and shrubby habitats. Furthermore, broodless hens preferred areas with higher slope variability than the display and summer areas preferred by cocks. These differences may reflect the sexual dimorphism of the species in reproductive role, energetic demands and conspicuousness. At larger spatial scales a previously developed habitat suitability model performed well to predict good brood-rearing areas. Hens with broods were located in the best-preserved areas in the range, mainly characterized by higher proportion of forest cover at a large (50 km2) scale. We suggest that these characteristics indicate refuge habitats where Cantabrian capercaillie can still breed successfully.

Keywords

Cantabrian capercaillie Brooding hens Habitat partitioning Habitat suitability Edge populations Deciduous forests 

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • María-José Bañuelos
    • 1
  • Mario Quevedo
    • 1
  • José-Ramón Obeso
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecology Unit, Department of Biology of Organisms and SystemsOviedo UniversityOviedoSpain

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