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Biotopes. Southern and Central Belarus

Dec 19, 2008 / Comment
Contributor: Valery Dombrovski.
Country: Belarus. Region: Southern and central parts.
Short-toed Eagle. Biotopes. Photo 1
Hayfields on dried up valley bogs are one of the main hunting biotopes for agricultural lands in Polesie and for some places in Central Belarus. In this case – in the West Berezina River floodplain. Usually there is high number of Natrix natrix and almost full absence of Vipera berus in such places. The forest is very multivarious: has areas of pine, alder, oak, spruce, aspen etc.; some of those areas are very boggy.
Short-toed Eagle density: c. 1.3 pairs/100 km2. Open the map.
Short-toed Eagle. Biotopes. Photo 2
Northern part of the Olmany Swamps. This is a complex of raised, intermediate and valley bogs covering about 1000 km2 of area. Formerly one of the key places for Short-toed Eagle in Polesie, but their number had dramatically decreased after natural disasters of 2002-2003. There are upland pine-birch forests around the swamps and small pine islands are situated in the central part of them. But Short-toed Eagles prefer larger forestlands for the nesting. Vipera berus dominates among relatively big reptiles, Natrix natrix inhabits only the swamps’ outskirts, Coronella austriaca is few in number.
Short-toed Eagle density: c. 4 pairs/100 km2. Open the map.

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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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Jan 31, 2008 / 2 Comments

Let us invite you to take part in common collection of short descriptions of Short-toed Eagles biotopes in different regions. This idea belongs to Bernard Joubert. The project aims to describe the whole area of the species distribution. It should be something like collection of photos of typical for Short-toed Eagles hunting and breeding territories with short notes about the authors, their comments, which will be connected with a map. The test version of it can be viewed here. Please, if you have some propositions, we would be glad to discuss; or as a comment to this post.