Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.15-16. (2008) p.35-43.

Habitat selection of migrating waders in the Hortobágy National Park, Hungary
Zsolt Végvári and Ottó Weszelinov

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We studied habitat selection of migrating waders in Hortobágy during spring and autumn migration periods between 1997-1999. We compared the habitat use of waders in drained fishponds and marshlands. Habitat availability was different between these two types of habitat since fishponds are usually drained in the autumn while marshes are provided by larger surfaces of suitable wader habitat (wet mud or shallow water) in spring due to autumn and winter precipitation. Fishponds, which are generally larger, attracted more waders in autumn whereas the smaller marshes were selected by more birds in spring. The effect of the density of grazing animals on wader numbers was also investigated. We found significant relation between the number of waders and grazing density in wader habitats. The conservation of waders migrating across alkaline grasslands needs the timing of draining the fishponds and the spatial distribution of grazing to be built in management plans.