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Distribution of black grouse in the military training areas Bergen, Munster north and Munster south as well as comparison of habitat use of black grouse in the military training areas with the nature conservation area Lüneburg Heath

Project data

Project leader: Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert
Scientific work: MSc Daniel Tost
Project term: April 2017 until December 2018
Sponsorship: Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft, Verbraucherschutz und Landesentwicklung

Project description

 

In northern Germany the population of black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) is dispersed among the major habitats of the Lüneburg Heath in Lower Saxony. These major habitats are the nature reserve Lüneburger Heide, the military training areas (MTA) Bergen, Munster north and south and the firing range of Rheinmetall (Unterlüß). The populations’ sizes are counted annually during the mating season in spring. Since 1995 the data is collected by the ornithological station of the state (Staatliche Vogelschutzwarte des Landes Niedersachsen), part of the environment agency of Lower Saxony. During the past 15 years the numbers ranged between 142 and 261 individuals (Sandkühler, schriftl. 2014). Besides these countings, no further standardized monitorings are being realized within the major habitats. Thus no information about habitat selection, rates of reproduction and mortality, dispersal or migration is available. Considering the relatively low numbers of individuals within the fragmented habitats, it is unknown which subpopulations appear as sink- or as source-populations. While source-populations produce reproduction-surpluses, from which other subpopulations benefit due to ongoing dispersal, mortality rates of sink-populations exceed the rates of reproduction and immigration, often caused by suboptimal habitats and high predation pressure. As between the extensive major habitats of the Lüneburg Heath several of these small, suboptimal habitats may serve as essential stepping stones, upgrading measurements to improve the habitats quality should be considered. Maintenance and improvement of available black grouse habitats and their (re-)connection with subpopulations seem necessary to stabilize the northern German population.

Since January 2017 observations of black grouse by staff operating on the MTA Bergen are requested and documented throughout the year. Foresters of the “Bundesforstbetrieb Lüneburger Heide” and military as well as civilian personnel of the Bundeswehr are voluntarily participating. We aim to record the occurrences and sizes of groups of black grouse throughout the year and to compare these records to the nature reserve Lüneburger Heide using the analyses of habitat suitability of the black grouse research projects 2011-2013 and 2014-2016. Furthermore the annual springtime-countings, carried out by the “Bundesforstbetrieb Lüneburger Heide“, will be supported. Additionally numbers of hens, locations of leks and dynamics of lek mating groups are recorded.

Contact person

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research

Bischofsholer Damm 15

30173 Hannover

 

MSc Daniel Tost

Tel.: +49 511 856-7565

E-Mail schreiben

Anschrift
Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Wildlife Research
Bischofsholer Damm 15
30173 Hannover
Kontakt
Tel.:+49 511 856-7565
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