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Gewählte Master / Diploma Thesis:

Mirabai Aberer (2017): Einfluss der Landschaftsausstattung und Gartenstrukturen auf das Vorkommen von Igeln in österreichischen Gärten.
Master / Diploma Thesis - Institut für Integrative Naturschutzforschung, BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 85. UB BOKU obvsg FullText

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
Hedgehogs are flagship species and play an important role in preserving biodiversity in settlement areas. However, the formerly widespread western hedgehog has already been classified as ‘near threatened’ in Austria. The main causes of threat are the fragmentation and loss of habitats, as well as road traffic. As hedgehogs occur in direct vicinity to human settlements, gardens are essential as habitats for this species. This master thesis investigated the impacts of the surrounding landscape, garden features and garden management on the presence of hedgehogs in gardens. The dataset consisted of 293 Austrian gardens for which questionnaires were completed and hedgehogs recorded within two Citizen Science projects. Thereof, in 179 gardens also a footprint tracking tunnel was set up. Within a radius of 500 m surrounding the gardens, a GIS-supported landscape analysis was carried out and analysed using a GLM. In total, from 213 gardens hedgehogs were reported. In 55 % of the gardens with footprint tracking tunnels, the presence of hedgehogs was proven. Increasing landscape diversity and fragmentation as well as increasing proportion of hedges, built up areas, arable land and stagnant waters raised the probability of hedgehog occurrence. In the gardens, the presence of hedges, feeding sites, hedgehog boxes, pile of leaves as well as an average garden size showed a positive effect on the presence of hedgehogs, while the presence of cats and small farm animals had a negative impact. A positive effect of built up areas and increased landscape fragmentation on the hedgehog occurrence is surprising, but can be explained by high occurrence of these parameters in settlements. For further studies, it would be desirable to attract a larger group of volunteers evenly distributed across Austria.

Beurteilende(r): Kriechbaum Monika
1.Mitwirkender: Winter Silvia
2.Mitwirkender: Plenk Kristina

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