Habitat use by Moltoni’s Warbler Sylvia cantillans moltonii in Italy

Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans) Science Article 1

abstract

Moltoni’s Warbler Sylvia cantillans moltonii is a poorly studied bird endemic to a restricted area in the central-western Mediterranean. We analysed selection of different vegetation structural types byMoltoni’sWarblers for singing and foraging in two hilly areas in the northern Apennines (Italy) with low-intensity farming. We related habitat use by the species to 13 habitat categories, definedmainly on the basis of vegetation structure, accounting for vegetation height and presence of broadleaved and/or coniferous plants. We assessed significant differences in the use of habitat categories with respect to their availability, analysing singing and foraging data separately. Themost selected categories includedmedium (1.5-3m) and/or low (<1.5m) shrubs.Ashift in habitat use according to the different behaviours was quite evident: singing males showed a tendency toward using higher vegetation, while foraging birds relied mainly on lower layers. Additionally, our study highlights the importance ofmarginal features such as shrub patches in agricultural systems to allow the presence of non-grassland birds in farmland landscapes.

M. Brambilla, F. Reginato & F. Guidali, Ornis Fennica 84:91-96. 2007

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