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Density-dependent effects on productivity in the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus: The role of interference and habitat heterogeneity

AuthorsFernández, C.; Azkona, Paz; Donázar, José A.
Issue Date1998
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationIbis 140: 64- 69 (1998)
AbstractGriffon Vultures Gyps fulvus in northern Spain were studied between 1969 and 1994. The number of breeding pairs increased from 221 in 1969-1975 to 1395 in 1994. The annual population growth rate decreased in the last 5 years, and this may reflect population regulation through density-dependent phenomena. Breeding success was monitored in 1994 and examined in relation to colony size, density of breeding pairs within a radius of 25 km (regional density), climate, human disturbance and food availability. We also recorded whether the year of first occupation of each nest site was before 1989 or after 1989 and whether or not the nest had a rocky shelter. The probability of successfully raising young declined as the regional density increased, which suggests that resource limitation would take place at foraging sites because the Griffon Vulture scavenges socially and no permanent feeding hierarchies are established. The other significant variable was the year of occupation of the nest; nests occupied after 1989 had a lower probability of raising a chick. The increase in the regional density of Griffon Vultures produced a decrease in the productivity at both optimal and suboptimal nest sites. This suggests that density-dependent regulation of breeding success operates through interference and that all the individuals in a colony are similarly affected. In birds of prey, prevalence of interference or habitat heterogeneity may be dependent on the social strategy of each species in space exploitation.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.1998.tb04542.x
issn: 0019-1019
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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