Changes in the fledging success over time with increasing population size in the Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus on Wangerooge Island (Lower Saxony, Germany)
- In this study, we report the results of a long-term investigation on changes in population size and fledging success of Northern Lapwing on Wangerooge, a German Wadden Sea island. This population is increasing over a period of 34 years in contrast to numerous populations in North-western Europe. The reproductive success however declines over time and also with population density. Both effects cannot be considered separately due to autocorrelation. However, it is noted that the population on Wangerooge is not sustained by local recruitment only. This outcome is even more alarming as coastal areas and islands are considered as rare high quality meadow bird habitats. According to the present results Wangerooge cannot be considered as a source habitat for Northern Lapwings in North-western Germany.
The importance of early breeding in Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa)
- Human impacts on the landscape have increased the penalties for Black-tailed Godwits laying their eggs too late, especially in the very intensive agricultural landscapes of The Netherlands. Thus, godwits have experienced a dramatic change of their fitness landscape, because the advance in mowing date made late clutches worthless destroying either eggs or chicks. To determine the driving forces of the recent population decline we study the individual variation in timing of breeding with respect to reproductive success in a population unaffected by mowing. Our results show that even in a low intensity agricultural area it is very important for godwits to breed early in the season.