Habitat utilization and prey selection of the kestrel Falco tinnunculus in relation to small mammal abundance

Casagrande, S. and Nieder, L. and Di Minin, E. and La Fata, I. and Csermely, D. (2008) Habitat utilization and prey selection of the kestrel Falco tinnunculus in relation to small mammal abundance. Italian Journal of Zoology, 75 (4). pp. 401-409. ISSN 1125-0003. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11250000802085526

Abstract

The study examined habitat utilization and prey selection by the kestrel Falco tinnunculus in an area of cultivated farmland in Italy, along with field estimates of small mammal abundance. Kestrel males were radiotagged and ranging behaviour and diet were recorded. Kestrels actively selected grasslands both during flight and perching hunting, and most predations were registered in this habitat. The occurrence of small mammals in the diet was significantly different from what was estimated from trapping, indicating that kestrels behaved as selective predators, since microtines were eaten in a greater proportion than their abundance. Microtus savii was preferred more than the common vole Microtus arvalis, whereas soricids were negatively selected. Nevertheless, common voles represented the main component of the kestrels' food niche. Reproductive success was correlated with small mammal availability. This study revealed that the high density of kestrels within the study area is supported by steady grassland management.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Po Valley Italy Falco tinnunculus kestrel raptor small mammal foraging behaviour habitat selection steady grassland Parmesan cheese
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2009 11:49
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2009 11:49
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/14873 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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