Breeding ecology of the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) population Beypazarı

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2012
Şen, Bilgecan
The aim of this study was to determine the habitat features affecting nest site selection and breeding success of the endangered Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus) breeding around the town of Beypazarı. We searched and monitored nest sites in the study area (750 km2) for the years 2010 and 2011. The differences in terms of habitat features between nest sites and random points distributed along cliffs, and between successful and failed nest sites were investigated using both parametric approaches and machine learning methods with 21 habitat variables. The size of the Beypazarı population of Egyptian Vultures was estimated to be 45 pairs. Seventeen nests in 2010 and 37 nests in 2011 were found and monitored. The breeding success of the population was estimated to be 100% in 2010 and 70% in 2011. Random Forests was the modeling technique with the highest accuracy and the modeling process chose 6 and 4 variables affecting nest site selection and breeding success of the species, respectively. Results showed that human impact was a potential factor governing the distribution of nest sites in the area and increased the probability of breeding failure as vultures clearly preferred to nest away from nearby villages, towns and roads, and nests on lower cliffs and nests that are close to the dump site (therefore the town center) was prone to failure. Utilization of elevation gradient and aspect showed trends similar to other populations of the species, with probability of nesting increasing at lower altitudes and for south facing cliffs. The overall results emphasize the potential conflict between human presence and the population of Egyptian Vultures in the area. Continuous monitoring of the nest sites and conservation activities towards raising public awareness are advised.

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Citation Formats
B. Şen, “Breeding ecology of the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) population Beypazarı,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.