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1 September 2016 Exotic Pine Plantations and the Conservation of the Threatened Red Kite Milvus milvus in Gipuzkoa, Northern Iberia
Mikel Olano, Haritz Beñaran, Maite Laso, Juan Arizaga
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Abstract

We describe red kite Milvus milvus nesting habitat in Gipuzkoa (Basque Country, northern Spain), a region under high human pressure where the traditional countryside has been extensively substituted by Monterey pine Pinus radiata plantations. All nests were 10–30 m up in Monterey pine stands 20–40 m tall. Forest patches were mono-specific and most comprised from 100 to over 1,000 trees. Vegetation cover around the nests was typical of the region, with a mosaic of meadows and forests, including exotic tree timber plantations. The fact that the red kite in Gipuzkoa breeds in Monterey pine plantations does not mean that this habitat constitutes a priority for its long-term conservation. However, its replacement by native forest should entail a gradual substitution of the old pine stands to guarantee the availability of sufficient tall, mature trees offering good conditions for red kite nests.

Mikel Olano, Haritz Beñaran, Maite Laso, and Juan Arizaga "Exotic Pine Plantations and the Conservation of the Threatened Red Kite Milvus milvus in Gipuzkoa, Northern Iberia," Ardeola 63(2), 369-374, (1 September 2016). https://doi.org/10.13157/arla.63.2.2016.sc3
Received: 29 October 2015; Accepted: 2 March 2016; Published: 1 September 2016
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