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Biotopes. Haute-Loire (France) -2

May 28, 2008 / Comment
Contributor: Bernard Joubert.
Country: France. Region: South Auvergne. Department: Haute-Loire.
Short-toed Eagle population: 75 / 80 pairs.

Please take a look at the map of main survey area /map/. General description and photos can be viewed below:

Short-toed Eagle. Biotopes. Photo 1Two neighboring breeding sites with eyries 2100 m apart (but more than an hour on foot) in the heart of the Allier gorges, one of the most scenic spots of the Massif Central with a great biodiversity an no measures of protection. The area is a border of the massif of La Margeride and the Velay’s hight plateaux, on the margeridian slope. Here, the valley is 400 m deep with slopes of 60%. Generaly, those birds avoid meeting but some hunting grounds are shared that can cause agonistic behavior.

Short-toed Eagle. Nesting biotope. Photo 2
Breeding site LM: Woods of firs and beeches with some pines. In a cool open concavity on the left slope of the Allier valley. The nest sits on a pine, 250 m from a path. 69% incline. On a granitic formation. Very little human activity.

Altitude: 890 m. Exposition: NE.

Short-toed Eagle. Nesting biotope. Photo 3
Breeding site SV: Because of the exposition, woods consist of oaks with some beeches and pines. Sometimes, gneissic outcrops cut through the forest. The nest is at the top of a pine, 75 m from a path. 55% incline. As the previous site, very few human activities (hunting in autumn and no regular forestry activities).

Altitude: 900 m. Exposition: ENE. Other interesting species: idem.

Short-toed Eagle. Hunting biotope. Photo 4Nearest hunting ground: 100 ha of heath, growing after fires. No agricultural activities. Everywhere brooms, thick or sparse, with rocks in places, cliffs and bushes and few pines. The slopes are difficult of access for humans because of the vegetation, rocks and declivity, but very easy for snake eagles, with up-draughts (permitting hang-gliding and thermal soaring).

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Biotopes. Haute-Loire (France) -1

Apr 22, 2008 / Comment
Contributor: Bernard Joubert.
Country: France. Region: South Auvergne. Department: Haute-Loire.
Short-toed Eagle population: 75 / 80 pairs.

Please take a look at the map of main survey area /map/. General description and photos can be viewed below:

15 pairs are surveyed since 1996 in the west of department, on the slopes of the huge hercynian massif of Margeride. Very few human activities in valleys. None intensive agricultural practices on the boarding plateaux (cattle: cow, sheep). Birds nest in V-shaped valleys of the Allier and tributaries, between 700 and 950 m above sea level. Eyries generally on pines, sometimes on firs. Usually nest areas are quiet.
Diet is based on few species: Elaphe longissima (chiefly), Vipera aspis (often), Anguis fragilis (especially during cool and rainy periods), sometimes Coronella. Lizards: Lacerta viridis and Podarcis muralis.

Short-toed Eagle. Nesting biotope. Photo 1
Site 1. Breeding site: Nest on the left of the valley (yellow circle), on a pine. Other nests on the other side (green circle: fir now dead because of Ips and al.), and at the end of a valley’s branch (orange circle).
Altitude: 870 m. Exposition: SW. Breeding success rate: 0.66 (n=12).
Short-toed Eagle. Hunting biotope. Photo 2
Other interesting species: Accipiter gentilis, Dryocopus martius, Genetta genetta.

Nearest hunting ground: Slopes overgrazed by sheep, sparsely covered in broom (Genista purgens), with rocky outcrops.

Short-toed Eagle. Nesting biotope. Photo 3
Site 2. Breeding site: 2008’s is nest in yellow circle. On the border of an oakwood and a pinewood. Nest on a pine. Two other eyries are known, one of which in the green circle, in the concavity of the mountain.
Altitude: 760 m. Exposition: SSE. Breeding success rate: 0.45 (n=11). Bad rate because site at the crossroad of flight paths of other birds, for hunting areas.
Short-toed Eagle. Hunting biotope. Photo 4
Other interesting species: Milvus milvus, Caprimulgus europaeus, Cervus elaphus.

Nearest hunting ground: Between the line of tall trees along a small brook (invisible), and the forest. At the foot of a slope. Sparse heath with few rocks.

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Biotopes. Provence (France)

Mar 16, 2008 / Comment

Contributor: Richard Frèze.
Country: France. Region: Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
Departement: Bouches-du-Rhône.

Please take a look at the map of main survey area /map/. General description and photos can be viewed below:

A small population of Short-toed Eagles, of about 10/12 pairs, is studied since 2002. They live on the hills located at the east of the town of Marseilles in the area of “Basse Provence”.
The zone occupies an area of approximately 900 km2 but because of strong human activities only a part is favorable to be settled by the birds. Great a difference between hunting and nesting territories can’t be noticed for the region.
The vegetation is made up primarily by scrubland with Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera) and pine forests with Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis) mainly.

The majority of the nests are located on slopes exposed to south/south-east and are built on side branches of Aleppo Pines.

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Descriptions of typical biotopes in France


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