The influence of snow cover on selection of nesting grounds by charadrii waders in south-eastern taimyr peninsula

Rakhimberdiev, E. N., Soloviev, M. Y., Golovnyuk, V. V. & Sviridova, T. V., Dec-2007, In : Zoologicheskii Zhurnal. 86, 12, p. 1490-1497 8 p.

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The data on the location of wader nests and dynamics of the snow cover were collected in 1994-2003 on a permanent plot (126 ha) in the lower Khatanga River basin (south-eastern Taimyr Peninsula). Moss-sedge-cotton grass tundra and a flat hillock bog are the dominant habitats for waders: dunlin (Calidris alpina), little stint (C. minuta), pectoral sandpiper (C. melanotos), gray phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius), ruff (Philomachus pugnax), and Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva). A more simple method for the calculation of the snow cover percentage in any time of snow melting is proposed based on its mapping and using data on temperature from the nearest meteorological station. In all the years studied, nesting of waders started, when snow covered the area by less than 30% and there were areas available for nesting. For four out of six species (dunlin, pectoral sandpiper, ruff, and gray phalarope), significant differences in density were revealed in their main habitats. The effect of the snow cover on the distribution of these birds over the plot and the whole particular habitat was not recorded. The influence of the snow cover was revealed significantly only for two species (little stint and Pacific golden plover), the distribution of which is not related to the habitat type. Little stint selects for nesting snow covered areas, whereas Pacific golden plover prefers the areas covered with snow by about 40% irrespective of the stage of snow melting. Therefore, the habitat type and snow cover affect the nest site selection in typical tundra; however, only one of these factors is of leading importance for the species studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1497
Number of pages8
JournalZoologicheskii Zhurnal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2007
Externally publishedYes

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