Factors influencing numbers and distribution of the Montagu’s harrier in Poland

Funding: 1) Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (PhD project), 2) The Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (POIS.05.01.00-00-381/12), 3) The Society of Nature Protection “Bocian”, 4) Polish-American Freedom Foundation “PhDo” (scholarship awarded in 2016)

PI: Natalia Królikowska

Co-investigators: Dominik Krupiński, Lechosław Kuczyński (supervisor)

Description: In this project we investigate the habitat preferences of the Montagu’s harrier. We intend to identify the main causes of breeding failures and the dominant predators of Montagu’s harrier clutches using surveillance video recording. We will also characterise the diet of this raptor within particular breeding season stages by analysing its pellets and photos from cameras located near nests. We seek to determine the influence of particular biotic (e.g. cereal crop arrangement, habitat structure, predator pressure, abundance of food resources) and abiotic (e.g. weather conditions) factors on the Montagu’s harrier’s distribution and productivity. In addition, we will evaluate conservation efforts implemented in Poland.

Selected publications

Królikowska N., Krupiński D., Kuczyński L. 2017. Combining data from multiple sources to design a raptor census – the first national survey of the Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus in Poland. Bird Conservation International, DOI: 10.1017/S0959270917000235