Distribution modelling of Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae Géné, 1839 occurrence in its wintering grounds: A niche-based approach with satellite telemetry data
SourceBird Conservation International
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Summary Eleonora's Falcon is a long-distance migrant of the Palearctic region. In recent years, the advent of satellite telemetry has enabled a more detailed investigation of the species's migratory and wintering periods. In this study, we model the distribution pattern of four Eleonora's Falcons originating from Greece within their wintering grounds in Madagascar with the use of satellite telemetry data and a niche-based technique, Maxent. The model predicted few highly suitable areas for the occurrence of the species, restricted to elevated areas receiving large amounts of precipitation during the wintering period, containing patches of primary and degraded humid submontane forests as well as cultivation. Most of these areas occurred within the previously estimated home ranges of the four falcons, as well as of three falcons from another independent study. Taking into account the ongoing alterations in landscape structure that occur within the eastern rainforest region of Madagascar, we believe that it is imperative to better understand the ecological requirements of Eleonora's Falcon. To this end, we recommend the application of Maxent in the study of habitat selection of the species that could be further refined with the inclusion of biotic interactions and seasonal resource availability. © BirdLife International 2013.