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The decrease in population of the blue headed wagtail motacilla flava in schleswig holstein west germany


, : The decrease in population of the blue headed wagtail motacilla flava in schleswig holstein west germany. Vogelwarte 33(2): 109-114

The taking of inventory based on a combination of three methods (1. counts of absolute numbers, 2. standardized mapping method, 3. an estimation of total population based on grid mapping) resulted in the following statistics: About 1700 pairs bred in Schleswig-Holstein from 1980-84. They were distributed mainly in the western area of the province: isles and islands 160-250 pairs; salt-marshes 30 pairs; diked-in sea-marshes 1080 pairs; "wetlands" (cultivated river-marshes and moorlands) 120 pairs; sandy uplands 140 pairs; and on the eastern coast 110 pairs. A comparison with the material dating back to 1945 shows a rapid decrease in population. The last 10 to 15 years show an even greater acceleration of the negative population. The Blue-headed Wagtail abandoned for the most part meadows and pastures. The greater the area of meadows and pastures the greater the population decrease of the Blue-headed Wagtail. As a whole, the islands, isles and salt-marshes with their optimal to medial/subpessimal habitats are less affected. The marshes are, in general, affected to an average degree; on the whole 1) meadows and pastures are affected more than to an average degree, but 2) arable lands are less or scarcely affected. The number of Blue-headed Wagtails has decreased the greatest in "wetlands". Large areas which used to be optimal habitats but which are today only subpessimal to pessimal habitats have been depopulated. As a result the Blue-headed Wagtail has abandoned almost half of their area of distribution. The reasons can probably be found, for the most part, in the modern means of farming.

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