University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Logo BOKU Resarch Portal

Gewählte Master / Diploma Thesis:

Christian Tobias Fiderer (2014): Einfluss der Ernte auf das Raumnutzungsverhalten des Feldhasen (Lepus europaeus) in der Agrarlandschaft.
Master / Diploma Thesis - Institut für Wildbiologie und Jagdwirtschaft (IWJ), BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 117. UB BOKU obvsg

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
Over recent decades a general decline in hare densities all over Europe has been recorded and this seems to be mainly a result of agricultural intensification. One effect of agricultural intensification is a faster and more efficient harvest which often induces abrupt changes of the landscape and therefore leads to a sudden lack of food and cover for animals like the hare. As a consequence of this habitat degradation brown hares are forced to explorer new feeding and resting areas, which goes along with higher energy requirements and a higher risk of accident. We used the locations of 8 GPS-collared european brown hares to analyze how the harvest of different crops is affecting space-use. Also habitat preferences, with a special view on habitat improvements, were examined and we also tried to find evidence for existing magnetotaxis in resting brown hares. Cereal and soy harvest significantly increased brown hares' home-range size during activity, while during resting harvest had no effect on brown hares’ home-range size, probably because most resting areas were not affected by harvest. The harvest of sunflowers led to a decreasing home-range size in both activity periods while the harvest of carrots and sugar beets did not at all affect home-range size. We suppose that winter greening reduced the effect of carrot and sugar beet harvest by offering compensating areas. Brown hares expressed a strong preference for stubble fields with catch crop and germinating winter grain during activity. In contrast, resting hares preferred larger sized vegetation, like sunflowers, soybeans, sugar beet and shelter belts. While forest areas, lucerne-, onion- and cornfields were seldom selected, brown hares seemed to prefer all kinds of habitat improvements. While analyzing the orientation of single resting places, an influence of the geomagnetic field on the behavior of resting hares could not be proved.

Beurteilende(r): Hackländer Klaus

© BOKU Wien Imprint