e-space
Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Factors constraining the distribution of Golden Eagles Aquila chrysaetos in Scotland: capsule Between 1992 and 2003 persecution appeared to be the main influential factor.

Whitfield, D. P. and Fielding, Alan H. and McLeod, David R. A. and Morton, Keith and Stirling-Aird, Patrick and Eaton, Mark A. (2007) Factors constraining the distribution of Golden Eagles Aquila chrysaetos in Scotland: capsule Between 1992 and 2003 persecution appeared to be the main influential factor. Bird study, 54 (2). pp. 199-211. ISSN 1944-6705

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Aims To utilize temporal changes in the distribution and occupation of Golden Eagle territories in Scotland between the 1992 and 2003 national censuses to assess potential causes of regional and national population trends, by examining spatial associations with a number of potential constraints on the population. Methods The distribution of occupied and vacant territories in the 1992 and 2003 censuses were entered as layers in a Geographical Information System (GIS), along with boundaries of biogeographical regions (Natural Heritage Zones) for regional analyses. Additional GIS layers were created for potential factors that may constrain the eagle population: the distribution and abundance of persecution incidents, new commercial conifer forests, popular mountains for hillwalkers (as surrogates for recreational activity), and the density of sheep and Red Deer (as surrogates for carrion abundance), drawn from comparable time periods to the national eagle censuses. Analyses then looked for spatial associations between eagle territory status and those constraint factors that may have influenced change in territory status. Results We found little evidence to suggest that recreational disturbance was influential on the occupation of Golden Eagle territories, although some local effects may have occurred and further analyses are warranted. We could find evidence of only a limited number of territories having being abandoned recently due to the planting of commercial conifer forests. We also rejected the hypothesis that changes in territory occupation between national Golden Eagle censuses were influenced by change in carrion abundance. By contrast, results were consistent with the hypothesis that persecution was influential in the observed change in territory occupation between censuses, so that occupied eagle territories tended to decline where persecution was probably still influential and tended to increase where persecution had probably declined. Conclusion In accordance with earlier predictions based on models of the demographic influence of persecution, in the central and eastern Highlands where grouse moor management predominates, the eagle population continued to decline to levels where increasingly large areas of suitable habitat are unoccupied by breeding pairs.

Impact and Reach

Statistics

Downloads
Activity Overview
0Downloads
82Hits

Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.

Altmetric

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item