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Nesting success in Redshank Tringa totanus breeding on coastal meadows and the importance of habitat features used as perches by avian predators

  • Richard Ottvall
  • K Larsson
  • Henrik Smith
Publishing year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 289-296
Publication/Series: Bird Study
Volume: 52
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: British Trust for Ornithology

Abstract english

Capsule Nest survival rates could not be explained by distance to habitat edges or other features used by predators.

Aims To investigate if predation on Redshank nests was affected by habitat characteristics at a local scale.

Methods We examined survival rates of Redshank nests on coastal meadows on the Baltic island of Gotland, Sweden, over two breeding seasons. We analysed nest survival rates in relation to several habitat characteristics that may benefit predators searching for nests. We examined existing studies concerning predation rates on wader nests in relation to edges and habitat features potentially used by avian predators.

Results We found no significant effects of distance to habitat edge or to nearest potential lookout for avian predators or to shoreline. Abundance of Lapwings Vanellus vanellus, an aggressive species with active nest-defence, did not have any significant effect on nest survival rate, nor did vegetation concealment of nests. Nest survival rates were significantly different between years and lower later in the season.

Conclusions There is only weak support for general effects on wader nest predation rates of proximity to edges and features used by avian predators. Simple mechanical management actions such as removal of trees and bushes on coastal meadows may not directly, and by itself, result in higher reproductive success of waders. Further understanding is needed of the behaviour of predators and the composition of the predator community in different landscapes in order to increase the efficiency of management actions to remove threats to vulnerable species on coastal meadows.


  • Ecology


  • ISSN: 0006-3657
Henrik Smith
E-mail: henrik [dot] smith [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se



+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56




Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 93 79

+46 70 978 20 56


Sölvegatan 37, Lund


Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden