How can the home range of the Lesser Kestrel be affected by a large civil infrastructure?

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Title: How can the home range of the Lesser Kestrel be affected by a large civil infrastructure?
Authors: Vidal-Mateo, Javier | Romero, Marta | Urios, Vicente
Research Group/s: Zoología de Vertebrados
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales
Keywords: Compensatory measures | Conservation | Environmental impact | Mediterranean landscape | Raptors
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: 4-Apr-2019
Publisher: BMC
Citation: Avian Research. 2019, 10:10. doi:10.1186/s40657-019-0149-6
Abstract: Background: The loss of traditional agropastoral systems, with the consequent reduction of foraging habitats and prey availability, is one of the main causes for the fast decline of Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni). To promote the conservation of the Lesser Kestrel and their habitats, here we studied the foraging activities patterns of this species during the breeding season. Methods: Between 2016 and 2017, we captured and tagged 24 individuals with GPS dataloggers of two colonies in Villena (eastern Spain) with the goals of estimating the home range sizes of males and females, evaluating the differences in spatial ecology between two colonies located in different environments: natural and beside a thermosolar power plant, and investigating habitat selection. Results: Considering the distances before July 15, date until which it can be assured that the chicks remain in the nest in our colonies, there were significant differences with the distances to the nest in relation to the colony of the individuals: Lesser Kestrels from the thermosolar power plant colony had a greater average distance. The average size of home range areas was 13.37 km2 according to 95% kernel, and there were also significant differences in relation to colony: the individuals from the thermosolar power plant colony used a larger area (22.03 ± 4.07 km2) than those from the other colony (9.66 ± 7.68 km2). Birds showed preference for non-irrigated arable lands and pastures. Conclusions: Despite the differences between the two colonies, the home ranges of both are smaller or similar to those observed in other European colonies. This suggests that Lesser Kestrels continue to have adequate habitats and a good availability of prey. Therefore, the extension and proximity of the plant does not imply a great alteration, which highlights the importance of maintaining the rest of the territory in good conditions to minimize the impact.
Sponsor: Funding for the project on studying the spatial ecology of Lesser Kestrel was provided by Enerstar S.A. ( JV is supported by a FPU grant of Spanish Ministry of Education (reference FPU014/04671).
ISSN: 2053-7166
DOI: 10.1186/s40657-019-0149-6
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Peer Review: si
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