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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 719–732 | Cite as

Differences in home-range sizes of a bird species in its original, refuge and substitution habitats: challenges to conservation in anthropogenic habitats

  • Laurent Godet
  • Clément Harmange
  • Matthieu Marquet
  • Emmanuel Joyeux
  • Jérôme Fournier
Original Paper

Abstract

In the current context of the anthropocene, the original habitats of many species have been modified or destroyed. Animals may be forced to move from their original habitats, either to refuge habitats that are suboptimal natural habitats, or to substitution habitats that are anthropogenic. The quality of refuge habitats may be lower than that of the original ones, whereas substitution habitats may be of a similar or even better quality. Here, we test this hypothesis empirically, using the example of coastal populations of the bluethroat, Luscinina svecica namnetum. In a radio-tracking survey, we compared the home-range sizes (considered here a proxy of habitat quality) of the breeding males in their original (coastal saltmarshes), refuge (inland reedbeds) and substitution (coastal salinas) habitats. We found that home ranges are up to 15 times larger in the substitution habitat than in the original one, and intermediate in the refuge habitat, suggesting that substitution habitats have the lowest quality and original habitats the highest. To date, most studies and conservation programs related to this species have focused on its substitution habitats. This result challenges the interest of focusing on anthropogenic habitats when studying and conserving such a species, because such habitats may only be low-quality substitutes.

Keywords

Radio tracking Anthropocene France Wetland Habitat quality Ideal free distribution 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Parc Naturel Régional de Brière, the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS), the Parc Naturel Régional du Marais Poitevin, and the Centre de Recherche sur la Biologie des Populations d’Oiseaux (CRBPO) of the French National Museum of Natural History. Thank you to Elisa Grégoire, Sarah Monnet, Estelle Malo and Julie Dietrich for their field work, and to all the salt-workers of the Marais du Mès for making them welcome during the field surveys. We also thank Marie-Christine Eybert (CNRS) for her knowledge and help in the field, as well as Jacques Marquis (ONCFS), Alain Thomas, and Arild Johnsen (Natural History Museum of Oslo) and his team for their help in the field. Special thanks to Clément and Pierre Godet for helpful comments on a previous draft.

Supplementary material

10531_2017_1460_MOESM1_ESM.docx (301 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 301 kb)
10531_2017_1460_MOESM2_ESM.docx (381 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 382 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurent Godet
    • 1
  • Clément Harmange
    • 2
  • Matthieu Marquet
    • 2
  • Emmanuel Joyeux
    • 3
  • Jérôme Fournier
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.CNRS, Université de Nantes, UMR LETGNantes Cedex 03France
  2. 2.Parc Naturel Régional de BrièreSt. JoachimFrance
  3. 3.Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS), Délégation interrégionale Bretagne et Pays de la Loire, Réserve Naturelle Nationale de la Baie de l’AiguillonSainte Radégonde-des-NoyersFrance
  4. 4.CRBPOFrench National Museum of Natural HistoryParisFrance
  5. 5.CNRS, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, UMR BOREAConcarneau CedexFrance

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