Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 150, Issue 2, pp 511–514

Nest-site habitat selection by Lesser Rheas (Rhea pennata pennata) in northwestern Patagonia, Argentina

  • Fernando R. Barri
  • Mónica B. Martella
  • Joaquín L. Navarro
Short Note

Abstract

Selection of nest-site habitat by a population of wild Lesser Rheas (Rhea pennata pennata) was studied in the northwestern Patagonia steppe, Argentina, during two reproductive seasons (2004/2005 and 2005/2006). Nest spatial distribution was compared with randomly selected points in the study area. Contrary to observations in other ratite species, nest distribution showed an aggregate pattern associated with “mallín” (meadow) areas, which are habitats of higher productivity in the Patagonia steppe. Moreover, similar to observations made on the Greater Rhea (Rhea americana), vegetation cover was higher in nest sites than in randomly selected sites, probably because higher vegetation provides concealment from predators and protection from the strong westerly winds that frequent in this region. Our results reinforce the importance of “mallín” areas for the reproduction and conservation of this threatened ratite species.

Keywords

Conservation Habitat selection Nest distribution Patagonia steppe Rhea pennata pennata 

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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando R. Barri
    • 1
  • Mónica B. Martella
    • 1
  • Joaquín L. Navarro
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Zoología AplicadaUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCordobaArgentina

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