Benefits of the European Agri-Environment Schemes for Wintering Lapwings : A Case Study from Rice Fields in the Mediterranean Region
Fraixedas, S., Burgas, D., Robson, D., Camps, J., & Barriocanal, C. (2020). Benefits of the European Agri-Environment Schemes for Wintering Lapwings : A Case Study from Rice Fields in the Mediterranean Region. Waterbirds, 43(1), 86-93. https://doi.org/10.1675/063.043.0109
© 2020 Waterbird Society
Mediterranean European rice fields provide important habitats for migrating waterbirds. In winter, one waterbird species that particularly benefits from rice fields is the Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), a species threatened in Europe. To assess the effect of agri-environmental measures on rice field selection and use by wintering lapwings, bird counts were conducted in northeastern Spain during two consecutive winters (2005-2006 and 2006-2007). Information on two mandatory post-harvest management prescriptions of the agri-environment schemes was collected, namely winter flooding (percent ground surface covered by water) and whether fields were rolled or not. The number of lapwings in rolled fields was significantly higher compared to non-rolled fields. For instance, an average rolled field with 50% water cover (percentage at which lapwing abundance more or less peaked) would host an estimated 12.03 ± 0.52 SE lapwings versus 0.18 ± 0.58 in a non-rolled field. While the maximum abundance of lapwings in rolled fields was found at an intermediate percentage of water cover (about 25 to 75%), the number of lapwings increased steadily with water cover in non-rolled fields. Rice post-harvest practices derived from the agri-environment schemes are beneficial for biodiversity, promoting the conservation of suitable habitats for waterbirds. ...
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Additional information about fundingSara Fraixedas was supported by a post-doctoral fellowship from HELSUS, and Daniel Burgas by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. This work was also funded by the Agència de Gestió d’Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca of the Generalitat de Catalunya (grant no. 2017SGR1344).
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