Ardea
Official journal of the Netherlands Ornithologists' Union

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Saâd N., Hanane S., Farhi K. & Khemis M.D.E.H. (2020) Nest age as predictor of nest survival in three sympatric dove species breeding in a Mediterranean arid agroecosystem. ARDEA 108 (2): 5-5
Identifying the factors that influence nest survival insympatric species is important for the proper and effective management of their breeding populations. We used logistic-exposure models to estimate the daily survival rate and evaluate habitat traits, such as characteristics of trees supporting nests, position of nest in a tree, nesting micro- and macrohabitat, nest timing and weather, that may affect nest survival in Date Palm plantations in Biskra, Algeria. We monitored 68 Laughing Doves Spilopelia senegalensis, 65 Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto and 92 European Turtle Doves Streptopelia turtur nests during the 2019 breeding season. Our results showed that daily survival rate was positively associated with nest age for Laughing Dove and Eurasian Collared Dove, whereas a cubic trend was found for European Turtle Dove. Furthermore, daily survival rate of Laughing Doves was associated negatively with nest height and positively with distance to cereal crops. The beginning of the incubation phase is a critical period for nest survival in the three sympatric Columbidae species. However, in the European Turtle Dove, a second period of vulnerability was recorded between the end of the incubation phase and the beginning of the nestling phase, i.e. between day 11 and 18 of the 30-day nesting cycle. Overall, the highest daily survival rates were recorded for Laughing Doves (0.970 ± 0.006 SE) and European Turtle Doves (0.960 ± 0.005), whereas the lowest (0.937 ± 0.004) was found for Eurasian Collared Doves. Laughing doves and, to a lesser degree, European Turtle Doves are better adapted to conditions prevailing in North African Date Palm plantations. Nevertheless, to enhance dove reproduction, management focusing on ensuring the availability of food, water and suitable nesting trees should be undertaken.


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