Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.22(2). (2014) p.32-41.

Key mortality causes of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) in Central Hungary: an analysis of known fatalities
Csaba Vadász & Miklós Lóránt

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In this study, we identified the key mortality causes of eggs, juveniles and adults of the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and quantified the relative importance of those, based on systema­tic data collection that have been carried out during the period between 2005 and 2014 at the Upper-Kiskunság region in Central Hungary. Rate of mortality regarding juveniles and adults was 39.71% caused by anthropogenic factors. Within the anthropogenic factors leading to mortality, collision was represented by 81.48% of fatalities, whereas mowing/hay making represented by 18.52%. Hay making/mowing was the factor leading to unsuccessful breeding attempt with the strongest negative effect on the breeding success of the investigated population of the Great Bustard, as it was represented by 50.96% of all known mortality cases. Chemical treatment had the factor with the second strongest effect, as it was represented by 12.33% of all known mortality cases. The rate of unsuccessful breeding (hatching) caused by particular activities (hay making/mowing, tillage, harvesting) varied bet­ween 68.42% and 75.00%. It was the disturbance by passers-by which led to the highest portion of unsuccessful breeding with 83.33% unsuccessful nests.