Land Transport Infrastructures, Ecosystems and Landscapes

[2015] Evaluation of the influence of large infrastructures on lowland birds

Evaluation of the influence of large infrastructures on lowland birds
Projet: Labellisé

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VILLERS
Alexandre
/ Organisation: Groupe Ornithologique des Deux-Sèvres
alexandre@ornitho79.org

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In a general context of development of communication infrastructures, of transport, of sustainable energy production, and of an increase of urbanized surfaces, it seems necessary to evaluate the influence on different scales (spatial and temporal) that these structures could have on the special species of cereal plains. This is what we propose to do, thanks to an innovative study program, using 3 large species of lowland birds (Bustard Bustard, Scrubber and Ash Harrier) as study models. This project, which combines a conservation association and a research organization, aims to answer several questions by studying different aspects of the biology of species with contrasting ecological requirements: Does the infrastructure under consideration affect on the flight of species during its crossing and is it an avoidance zone in the short or more or less long term? Is there a relationship between the distance to infrastructure and the quality of individuals (assessed by several criteria) or the level of stress marker hormone? Does the presence of infrastructure affect the selection of breeding or foraging habitat for the species? We will also attempt to assess the risk of the species colliding with the infrastructure by estimating the time budget spent in a risk area.
This project is based on the analysis of data collected during the project duration (installation and monitoring of 60 GPS beacons, hormone dosing, land use, food resources, monitoring of bird reproduction) but also on the basis of Long-term data from CEBC-CNRS and GODS.
In the long term, we want to provide references and resource tools for the assessment of impacts on the one hand, and the implementation of avoidance, mitigation or impact compensation measures on the other hand, for infrastructure projects in open agricultural plain.

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