Ornis Hungarica. vol.25(1). (2017) p.25-38.
Nest-site selection and population trend of Collared Pratincoles (Glareola pratincola) breeding in agricultural habitats of the Nagykunság region (Hungary)
The Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola), which was once a typical breeding species of the sodic grasslands of the Great Plain, has become threatened with extinction from Hungary. It disappeared from the traditional grassland breeding sites before the 2000 and is currently breeding only in three sites in agricultural environments in Hungary. The objectives of our research were to find links between the use of shallow wetlands and the breeding behaviour of the species and to identify the characteristics of its breeding on ploughed fields. Data were collected between 2008 and 2016 as part of preparations for the conservation of the largest population which is found in the Nagykunság. We found a positive correlation between colony size and the area of the nearby wetland. We calculated the proportion of habitat-types used for nesting, and found that cultivated fields and fallow lands were the most important. Additionally, we also found that colony sizes were substantially smaller during the research period than those found earlier in the traditional grassland habitats. Finally, we found a positive trend in the size of the population during the research period.