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Nest site selection patterns of a local Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus population in Turkey

2017-12-01
Sen, Bilgecan
Tavares, Jose P.
Bilgin, Cemal Can
We report the size and density of an Egyptian Vulture population in Turkey and provide insight into its nest site selection patterns. The study was carried out at Beypazar (Turkey), holding one of the densest Egyptian Vulture populations (six pairs per 100 km(2)) in the Western Palearctic. Random Forests analysis revealed that human impact was a potential factor governing the distribution of nest sites, as the pairs clearly preferred to breed away from nearby villages, towns or roads. Utilisation of elevation gradient and aspect was similar to other studied populations, with the probability of nesting increasing at lower altitudes and for south-facing cliffs. Nearest-neighbour distance between nests was about 1.5 km, indicating territorial behaviour when choosing nest sites at the local scale. Our findings provide guidance for nature conservation NGOs and related government bodies for their various actions including designation of Important Bird Areas, regulation of mining practices and preparation of environmental impact assessments.