Raptor distribution in relation to landscape composition in semi-arid Mediterranean habitats


José A. Sánchez-Zapata, Departamento de Ecología e Hidrología, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain. Fax: + 34 68 36 39 63; E-mail: tszapata@fcu.um.es


1. Breeding sites of raptors were studied in relation to land-use and edge habitat using two different scales in semi-arid Mediterranean landscapes in south-eastern Spain. Habitat relationships were analysed using Generalized Linear Models.

2. The proportion of forest cover at a small scale was the best predictor for all species. At a larger scale, the proportion of forest cover was also a good predictor, and the amount of edge habitat between forest and extensive agriculture was a very good predictor of booted and short-toed eagle densities.

3. Models for sedentary species of raptor were similar using both scales whereas trans-Saharan migrant raptors seemed to be more sensitive to larger landscape features that included longer edges between forest and extensive agriculture.

4. Habitat mosaics created by forestry and traditional farming were especially important for Mediterranean raptors. Strengthening of the Agri-environmental Regulation (2078/92) will be necessary to compensate for agricultural intensification proposals promoted under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).