AVIS-IBIS

Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Avian mortality due to power lines in the Canary Islands with special reference to the steppe-land birds

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:García-del-Rey, E, Rodriguez-Lorenzo, JAntonio
Journal:Journal of Natural History
Volume:45
Issue:35-36
Date Published:2011
ISBN Number:0022-2933
Keywords:Burhinidae, Burhinus, Burhinus oedicnemus, Chlamydotis, Chlamydotis macqueenii, Chlamydotis undulata, Fringillidae, Numenius, Numenius arquata, Numenius phaeopus, Otididae, Scolopacidae, Serinus, Serinus canaria
Abstract:Biodiversity is being lost worldwide at an increased rate particularly as the result of human activities and infrastructure. Avian mortality through collision with power lines has been an important topic in animal ecology research, but studies of this kind have never been undertaken in the Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago located near the northwest African coast that has important seabird colonies, several endemic bird species and endemic races of steppe-land birds of conservation concern. During two contrasting periods in 2008 (breeding vs post-breeding), a total of 366 km of power lines were surveyed on this archipelago covering the entire distributional range of the most important steppe-land bird species (i.e. 232 km, Fuerteventura; 134 km, Lanzarote). In all, 310 carcasses representing 23 families and 26 species were detected. We estimated with distance Sampling that 25.5% and 6.3% of individuals of the total population of Houbara bustards, Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae, and Eurasian stone curlews, Burhinus oedicnemus insularum, respectively, were killed in a year. We encourage the Canary Islands authorities (Consejería de Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Canarias) to try to minimize the Houbara bustard collision rate, particularly in the northern plains of Lanzarote (i.e. Jables de Famara), as a means to reduce mortality of this emblematic species in this insular environment.Biodiversity is being lost worldwide at an increased rate particularly as the result of human activities and infrastructure. Avian mortality through collision with power lines has been an important topic in animal ecology research, but studies of this kind have never been undertaken in the Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago located near the northwest African coast that has important seabird colonies, several endemic bird species and endemic races of steppe-land birds of conservation concern. During two contrasting periods in 2008 (breeding vs post-breeding), a total of 366 km of power lines were surveyed on this archipelago covering the entire distributional range of the most important steppe-land bird species (i.e. 232 km, Fuerteventura; 134 km, Lanzarote). In all, 310 carcasses representing 23 families and 26 species were detected. We estimated with distance Sampling that 25.5% and 6.3% of individuals of the total population of Houbara bustards, Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae, and Eurasian stone curlews, Burhinus oedicnemus insularum, respectively, were killed in a year. We encourage the Canary Islands authorities (Consejería de Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Canarias) to try to minimize the Houbara bustard collision rate, particularly in the northern plains of Lanzarote (i.e. Jables de Famara), as a means to reduce mortality of this emblematic species in this insular environment.
URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222933.2011.589916
Short Title:Journal of Natural History
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