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Rôle des habitats originaux, refuges et de substitution pour les oiseaux

15 05 2017


Un marais, habitat privilégié par la Gorgebleue à miroir dans la réserve naturelle de la Pointe d’Arçay


Un article paraîtra dans Biodiversity and Conservation : Godet L., Harmange C., Marquet M. Joyeux E., Fournier J. 2017. Difference in home-ranges sizes of a bird in its original, refuge and substitute habitats challenges the relevance of focusing conservation and studies in anthropogenic habitats

Many species now live in anthropogenic habitats that may constitute either refuges when their original habitats were destroyed, or substitute habitats when they offer functional similar features that attract them. It has been hypothesized that the quality of refuge habitats are lower than original ones, whereas substitute may have a similar or even a better quality. We propose to test empirically this hypothesis with the example of the Bluethroat Luscinina svecica namnetum, an endemic subspecies of bird of the French Atlantic coast. Through a radio-tracking survey, we compared the home-range sizes (considered here as a proxy of habitat quality) of the breeding males in their original (coastal saltmarshes), refuge (coastal salinas) and substitute (inland reedbeds) habitats. We found that home-ranges are up to 15 times larger in the refuge habitat than in the original one, and intermediate in the substitute habitat, suggesting that refuges have the lowest quality and original habitats the best. This result challenges the development of conservation programs as well as the generalizability of the studies on the ecology of species developed in anthropogenic habitats because they may only constitute refuges of a low quality.




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