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Project nr.: MGSII-52
Final beneficiary: Czech Society for Ornithology
Partner organizations: Institute of Vertebrate Biology
Project duration: 19. 1. 2015-30. 4. 2016
Grant amount: 1,505,330 CZK
The main objectives of the project was to handle complex documents relating to the research and protection of the little owl and yellowhammer garden. It is the farmland species whose populations have been significantly affected by changes in agriculture that led to the homogenization of uniformity of natural conditions and human activities. With the disappearance of extensive small-scale farming also disappeared varied landscape mosaic, leading to a dramatic decline in the numbers of both species, reducing their complex and fragmented populations. Therefore, during the past decades seen a shift of both species in different habitats. Little Owl in the past, inhabited mainly open agricultural landscape and nesting in the old den trees, there is bound exclusively to synanthropic habitats and nesting is documented only in anthropogenic structures. Likewise, the majority of the population Bunting garden formerly nested, especially in structurally diverse agricultural landscape, while today the incidence of documented primarily in the post-industrial mining areas. Both types combines the crucial importance krátkostébelných habitat is scanty scattered vegetation that is for them (and for certain other bird species) crucial to hunt for food and therefore for successful reproduction. To effectively protect these endangered species is therefore crucial setting appropriate management of their habitats.
Activity 1: Monitoring extensions and genetic variability Little Owl in selected areas
As part of this activity was to map the expansion and population density Little Owl based on our capacity and within the wide network of volunteers. In this project, we organized a nationwide fourth extension mapping and population density Little Owl in the Czech Republic, especially in 2015 and additionally in 2016 (more on birdlife.cz/sycek or call in Newsletter SOVDS 2015). Overall, it was checked 2,000 locations and the occurrence of the Little Owl was confirmed at 84 locations. Little Owl monitoring territory covers the following regions: South Bohemia, Usti nad Labem, Central Bohemia, Pilsen, Carlsbad, South Moravia, Hradec Kralove, Pardubice, Liberec and Olomouc.
Little Owl DNA was isolated from feathers that have been picked and noninvasively in the four major regions of its presence. Genetic variability and the structure was analyzed using the 16 microsatellite loci. The values found indicate a high genetic variability as compared for example with the Danish little owl populations. It was not discovered deflection population from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium.
Activity 2: Ensuring safe little owl nesting sites, elimination of risk factors and grassland management in territories
As part of this activity was to manufacture and install 50 nesting boxes for owls. In addition an extensive study on the habitat preferences of owls in Central Europe, the results of which could have a significant clue what habitat is needed for specific populations to protect. The study has been submitted for publication in the prestigious journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment.
Activity 3: Dissemination of motivational and promotional information for local community
As part of this activity was to produce and distribute brochures motivation for the Protection of the Little Owl for local farmers and the general public. There was also a production web sites on ecology, conservation and research Little Owl. These websites offer a wide variety of information about this endangered owl. Lay and professional public here can learn about its ecology, the threats and risks, but also on Applied protection. More on birdlife.cz/sycek. Furthermore, we established the project's Facebook page, where continuously informed on the progress of the project (see Facebook). The report on nationwide mapping Little Owl was mentioned in a number of print and online media, including coverage in the main event of CT or in a live broadcast of Czech Radio Journal. The project was also presented at several conferences.
Activity 4: Monitoring expansion and population density and habitat preferences analysis of the Ortolan Bunting
Within this activity, we are even with the help of paid employees and volunteers mapped the current expansion Bunting garden in the Czech Republic. We focused on monitoring Bunting garden in the regions of its core expansion, specifically in South Moravia (Bird Area Hovoransko-Čejkovicko), Silesian and the Olomouc Region (Javornicko, Hlučínsko and Osoblažsko), the Central Region (EVL Milovice-Young and NPR Žehuňský pond) , Usti region - Czech Middle PLA and Podkrušnohorská lignite dumps.
Overall in 2015 we found 75 to 79 singing males surveyed at six study areas throughout the Czech Republic. Corn incidence was observed in 14 mapping cuboid.
This was followed GIS analysis of various habitat characteristics in occupied and unoccupied areas, which revealed high flexibility Bunting biotope garden in the Czech Republic. In the agricultural landscape in the occupied areas were significantly higher proportion of non-agricultural vegetation (hedges, alleys and scrubland and forest fragments in the agricultural landscape), but the opposite was true for the representation of the habitat in the mining landscape. Likewise, we found differences in the representation of the various habitats at different spatial scales. On a larger spatial scale was the representation of tree seedlings and urban habitats significantly lower at smaller spatial scale ("level nesting territories"), the incidence Bunting garden was significantly higher in areas with a higher index of landscape diversity. Finally, the mining landscape should Places where Bunting significantly higher slope of the terrain compared to places where bunting was recorded.
Activity 5: Text processing ZPZCHD (the little owl and ortolan bunting)
All results obtained during the processing of the project were incorporated into the structure of the text of the relevant chapters ZPZCHD for both species. The texts were then forwarded to the Ministry of Environment.
This document was created with financial support from the EEA Funds 2009-2014 and Ministry of Environment. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the Czech Society for Ornithology and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the donor or the Ministry of Environment.